Monday, August 29, 2016

Panty Tree?/Tuscumbia Muskrat?

You can’t say that our blog isn’t ready to jump into the pressing issues of the day, and with that we’ll attempt to answer the important question of just who owns the panty tree under the Old Railroad Bridge. The Midnight Rider has assigned the tree to Sheffield, but at least one reader has questioned that, asserting the tree is closer to Florence than Sheffield.

We’ve learned that a few year ago, a man lost his hat while on the bridge and then jumped down to retrieve it. In most news articles this is where one would insert that police believe alcohol was involved in the incident. Upon retrieving the hat, the man found that he couldn’t climb back to his spot on the bridge and was stranded. He called 911, but who helped?

Sheffield Police and Fire said it was Florence’s problem and Florence Police and Fire said it was Sheffield’s. Is the man still stranded there? No, finally Lauderdale EMA put a boat in the water and rescued him.

The bridge itself has been declared in Sheffield, if that helps decide the issue, but the land itself? We’re awaiting opinions from some more experts, so feel free to comment.


What has happened to the Tuscumbia Muskrat? We’ve received questions and have two possible answers, but if the Muskrat is still out there, even not posting, please contact us.


Sunday, August 28, 2016

Valerie Parkhurst/A Serpent's Tooth

We recently blogged on sex offender activist Derek Logue who some time ago named three people as being part of our blogging team or at least being associated with us in some manner. We discussed the Killen woman and briefly touched on the second, Valerie Parkhurst, who lived well outside the Shoals area.

As far as we know, Ms. Parkhurst never even commented on our blog, but suffice it to say, we’re positive she’s never written anything for us. Until today we assumed she was a blogger who championed tighter sex offender laws.

No, it seems Ms. Parkhurst, whom Logue insists on calling the “Valigator,” was a real estate agent in Florida. She came to the conclusion that if the law stated a realtor had to tell a client about a bad roof, the realtor should also inform prospective buyers of any sex offenders in the area. She was successful in helping enact this law in her state.

Ms. Parkhurst’s other claim to fame, the event that Logue constantly blogs on, was less noble, but hardly evil. As Parkhurst’s activism became known, she became the target of sex offenders. When one confronted her one day and she feared for her life, she drew her gun from her purse. The convicted sex offender had her arrested on some type of intimidation charge which was later dismissed.

Sadly, Ms. Parkhurst passed away July 27th. We assume she will no longer be the brunt of Logue’s misplaced hysteria.


How many of you want to move to New York City? That’s what we thought. One of our readers told us yesterday that we couldn’t make it there as she had done. No, according to AB, those left here are, as we understand her meaning, inferior.

The saddest part of this exchange is that we’ve known three generations of AB’s family, many of whom are still “left behind” here in Florence. Her family attempted to give her the best so that she can now live where she wishes.

Anyone have a serpent’s tooth icon?


If we didn’t live in Florence?

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Lawyer Up/Roll Over/You Can Leave Your Hat On...

Lawyer Up! 

It may sound like a cutesy phrase, but if you’re ever accused of a criminal act, whether innocent or guilty, it’s the first thing you should do. Feel free to use these exact words:

While I assure you I’m totally innocent, I’m not giving you even my middle name without an attorney. No, I don’t have money for an attorney; therefore, I expect you to appoint me one. I also expect the attorney to be one experienced in criminal matters and not some real estate/patent lawyer you dragged out of the lobby where he/she was attempting to get an accident report.

That being said, why in the name of Lucrezia Borgia didn’t Erica Fox ask for an attorney before she made any statement to police? We don’t think anyone considers this woman intelligent, much less moral, but you can bet the first thing her attorney (unlucky person that may be) will do is to attempt to get her statement thrown out…and the attempt just might be successful.


Roll Over!

That will be next for Erica. She’ll avoid a Capital Murder conviction and be out in around 15 years. That’s unless Ronnie and his brother have some powerful voodoo up their sleeves to turn the tables on Erica. We doubt it, but it would be worth the price of admission to see them try.

Call it rolling, flipping, or turning state’s evidence, it’s a very popular pastime in the legal world. For those who enjoy watching this particular maneuver, we’re expecting to see quite a bit of it in the Chip Dillard/Tim Staggs trials come December, or whenever that riveting case does make it before a judge. In fact, there may just be a little of that going on this very week.


You can leave your hat on!

Some time ago we gave our first “Born in a Barn” award to an elected official who was pictured in the TD wearing his hat at an official function. We never heard from him, but were told his wife and mother thought it was hilarious and hoped it taught him a lesson.

Our second award was bumped and then overlooked, but it was presented to a local (actually national) celebrity with enough money to be able to forgo morals and manners. Our third? Unfortunately, in haste, we didn’t consider that the egregious offender wasn’t a pubic personage and for that we apologize.

However, the recipient of our award, over a week later, then left obscene remarks on all intervening posts…many of them from the Alabama Political Reporter, Pen-N-Sword, and the Shoals Insider. If this person had contacted us via e-mail and asked about the post, it would have taken five minutes or less for us to have decided it should be taken down.

Now? After his language to us as well as many innocent commenters who had no idea why they were the recipient of such language, we pretty much think he deserves the award. We’ve also been informed the man is a professional musician who’s using the post to increase his visibility. Let’s hope he has more musical talent than he has common sense. We do, in future, promise that any recipient of this award will be a public personage.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Just How Drunk is Your Hometown?

From the Midnight Rider:

Some Lists For Your Consideration

Recnetly AL.COM ranked the “Drunkest Cities in Alabama.” First of all, is that really a ranking that your Town or City wants to be on. The List is as follows:

1. Gulf Shores

2. Birmingham

3. Guntersville

4. Tuscaloosa

5. Foley

6. Anniston

7. Huntsville

8. Lincoln

9. Sheffield

10. Cullman

As I read the list, imagine my thoughts when I saw #9. Recently, you may remember that the Rider wrote an article about the City of Sheffield creating a “mini Beale Street” with the fixing up of downtown. As we had stated the sale of alcohol and the Sales Tax off of Alcohol especially with several bars, taverns or restaurants in a single area breeds Crime. 

So now the Citizens of Sheffield can share that they made the Drunkiest City in Alabama List. I am sure the City of Sheffield is on many other lists. Remember they have the Panty Tree in Sheffield which we are sure is on the Shoals Attraction List. 

Sheffield Panty Tree

Logan’s Files for Bankruptcy

From the Logan’s Corporate website:

Twenty-one locations of Logan's Roadhouse will be closed as part of the chain's bankruptcy proceedings. The Nashville, Tennessee-based steakhouse chain filed for bankruptcy last week. The chain operates 250 locations nationwide, including 23 in Alabama. Logan's parent company, LRI Holdings Inc., cited years of declining sales and greater competition from fast-casual restaurant chains as contributing factors in its financial issues.

For the quarter ending Oct. 28, the chain saw revenue drop 9.9 percent to $131.3 million, with same-store sales falling more than 4 percent. The company originally said it would close 18 locations but commercial real estate analysts with CoStar said Logans is asking the court to reject leases on 21 of its restaurants. Logan's has not responded to emails seeking confirmation of the list.

Those locations are:

2649 S. Market Street, Gilbert, Arizona

11674 University Dr, Orlando, Florida

7480 W. Colonial Drive, Orlando, Florida

1230 N Westover Blvd., Albany, Georgia

101 Capital Square Drive, Brunswick, Georgia

11301 Abercorn Street, Savannah, Georgia

51 Lincoln Hwy, Fairview Heights, Illinois

4825 E. 82nd St, Indianapolis, Indiana

10780 Parallel Pkwy, Kansas City, Kansas

7940 W 135th St, Overland Park, Kansas

3050 Riffel Dr., Salina, Kansas

2945 Wimsatt Ct, Owensboro, Kentucky

6571 Blue Bonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, Louisiana

3323 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy, Lafayette, Louisiana

14235 Hall Road, Shelby Township, Michigan

7110 Sawmill Rd, Columbus, Ohio

2310 Wilkes-Barre Township M, Wilkes- Barre, Pennsylvania

2200 S. Hwy 6, Houston, Texas

21119 US-281, San Antonio, Texas

12821 Fair Lakes Pkwy, Fairfax, Virginia

46321 McClellan Way, Sterling, Virginia

We have read the articles about the bad service/food from the Muscle Shoals Logan’s We wonder if they will be next.

Sadly, We must report that the Ruby Tuesday’s Florence Location has been closed. It is sad to see any business close. 

Until next time..

I am and always will be, the Midnight Rider.


We've had several comments about the photo/video we discussed yesterday in which a toddler was ostensibly given alcohol to drink. Reports differ, but the video could be as much as five years old and originate in Gadsden. Welcome to the world of urban myth.

However, our blogger Jasper Black has reminded us that if you find or receive any similar media in which someone is being abused, do not delete. The media itself may contain identifying hallmarks which can be used to locate the source.


Time for a new award: We're giving our friends at PNS the Tom Smith Geography Award for citing the corner of Avalon and Second Street in an article on a recent police chase.

Sorry. We couldn't resist...

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Drunk Baby in Tuscumbia?/Political Rumors

Help ID This Child

On rare occasions, we receive complaints of child abuse. One recent message to us contained a photo of a child, allegedly from Tuscumbia, being given shots of whiskey to drink. The child appeared to be between the age of 12 and 18 months.

The story goes that the photos were found on an SD card, and information about the family pictured is scant. The Tuscumbia police department is aware of the situation. They are thoroughly investigating and asking for assistance from anyone having more information.


After Independence Day we received a photo of a young couple where the father was “abusing” the child with a sparkler. We looked at the picture and considered it more neglect than abuse. We certainly know the shot was sent to us since the father is a life-long felon. While we may personally dislike someone, we do try to be fair. It’s our opinion the child was suffering from neglect and not direct abuse. We advised the reader to contact DHR himself and have heard nothing of the matter since. 

People aren't born knowing how to parent a child. Add alcohol to the mix and it's a miracle the human race has survived this long.


While we know DHR is not perfect, there’s little we can do here except make others aware of the situation. If you feel there is a real danger to a child or person unable to care for himself, we welcome your input here, but DHR or police should always be notified first.


Rumors? Apparently many individuals don’t know the definition of rumor. A documented investigation is not rumor, but fact.

What of actual rumors? There are some floating around about various political candidates which have no basis in fact. When you hear a story about a candidate, be sure to ask the teller where he/she heard it. If the person “knows” the validity of these rumors, particularly involving illegal behavior, also be sure to ask why the teller hasn’t reported the events to authorities.

At the end of election season, we’re always amazed that anyone chooses to run for political office.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Election Post Mortem/Hershel Graham

Round One is over, and was it ever interesting!

First up, Lexington: Sandra Burroughs Killen’s opponent garnered 23 votes. Apparently the incumbent had been mayor in name only since no one else would accept the job. Once Sandra gets Lexington straightened out, we’re hoping she’ll next take on the Florence-Lauderdale Tourism Board.

Sheffield District Two: Sebastian Devaughn received zero votes. That’s right. She didn’t even vote for herself. We don’t believe Ms. Devaughn is registered to vote, and obviously everyone else smelled a rat with her campaign.

Florence: The mayor’s race was a shocker. We had privately predicted a runoff between Haddock and Goode. We’ll be addressing this race later. District Six? Another shocker…not so much that Andy Betterton won as that 85 year-old autocrat Bob Hill came in second. District One? Dave Smith presented with many more votes that we ever imagined he would. Prince is writing his blog as we write ours…and foaming a little at the mouth.

Rogersville: The beleaguered Hagood not only received an almost minuscule portion of the votes, he can’t even get the TD to spell his name correctly.


With eight months left to go on his two year sentence, Hershel Graham has returned to his late father’s home in Red Bay. He is ostensibly under house arrest while on furlough to die ala Oliver Brazelle, so if any of our readers see him at the Russellville Walmart or any of his other favorite haunts, please let us know.


Anyone have any idea why this man never got ahead in the world?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Lawyers, Sex, Money, & Murder: How Erica Fox Plotted to Have It All

When Erica Rae Green’s engagement to Jason Lee Fox was announced in 1998, the Muscle Shoals high student was stated to work for Tuscumbia attorney John D. Clement Jr. Given her age at the time, the now 36 year-old alleged murderess probably did little more than answer the phones and take messages. It’s unknown how long she worked for Clement, but attorneys reportedly still played a large role in her life in 2016.

News sources have indicated Fox had more than one accident case pending, and a knowledgeable informant reported that the new widow spoke with attorney Joel Hamner on Friday morning (the day of her first arrest) asking what kind of award she could expect in the case. She reportedly needed $100,000.00 for an attorney—presumably not one in the Alexander Shunnarah mold. We understand her incarceration puts a damper on these cases…insert gypsy violin music here.

Judgments from accidents weren’t the only financial windfalls Erica hoped to gain. Her husband Jason reportedly had insurance appropriate for a married man with three children. Both Erica and Ronnie coveted that little bundle.

Yet, Ronnie Lee Credille wasn’t alone in his affection for the 250 pound Muscle Shoals housewife. Erica reportedly admitted to police that she had several lovers, but Ronnie was her main man.

Ronnie, divorced for around two years, living with family in Florence, and having to borrow a vehicle to make the trek to Muscle Shoals to murder Jason, must have looked better to Erica than he does to us. We can only imagine what her other side men must have been like if Ronnie Credille was her primary lover.

And Jason Lee Fox, husband, father, son, brother, church-goer never knew what hit him. We’ve read that Ronnie’s ex-wife and the mother of his son has been online proclaiming his innocence. We expect to hear from her as well as a handful of others about our opinions of Ronnie and Erica. We fully expect them to be filled with profanity and vitriol and to blame the victim. Some will also call for some avenging angel to thrash all the bloggers here within an inch of our lives…that’s just so everyone will know what really nice folks they are.

So comment away. In the interim, we’ll be visualizing Erica and Ronnie and their future life (and we do mean life) in prison.


Anyone else wonder how an overweight woman with a house, a job, a husband, and three kids found the time to have multiple affairs? If she should miraculously win her freedom, we predict a career in vitamin endorsements for Erica.