Friday, April 30, 2010

Anyone Need a Good Time Machine?

They're really hard to find on eBay. In case you missed the DeLorean at the Shoals Theatre...


Trader Evaluates has a new Facebook Fan page. Be sure to visit at: Link


We've added a countdown clock to the June 1st primary. We're awaiting information from several candidates. We realize we may have missed some in our requests, especially in Franklin County. If you're running for office, please e-mail us your vision statements as soon as possible.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Chad Holden - A Good Man for the Job

We previously showcased Chad Holden, a candidate for the Lauderdale Board of Education Place 2. After reviewing the other candidates, we feel that Chad is the best person for this position. A few words from Chad:

The 2010 campaign has been both exciting and humbling. I've learned so much since jumping into this race the very first week of qualifying:

1) Lauderdale County is huge!

2) People are hungry for something different on the board of education.

3) Public service is still a noble calling.

I will say this: there are some very good candidates for school board in this election. Voters are just going to have to decide who are "the very good" candidates and who are "the best" to bring about the change they want. Our campaign is making the case that my passion for education and inside perspective to 21st century challenges make me the best candidate for Place 2 in 2010.


According to Sweetwater Mansion's Facebook page, Susan Leigh Smithson has taken the historic home off the market. We hope this is a first step in assuring the edifice remains in the Shoals for generations to come.

For those who believe in ghosts, or even those who don't, a fantastic video on the historic structure:


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Colbert County Needs Lyn Gregory

For several years, we have heard complaints from Colbert County citizens concerning the quality of their law enforcement. Citizens from adjoining counties have also voiced displeasure with the current sheriff and his department. Now Colbert Countians have a chance to remedy that situation.

Lyn Gregory has promised to be a working sheriff, one who listens to the needs of those within his jurisdiction. We believe that Gregory is sincere in his promises for better law enforcement and endorse him in the June Democratic Primary.


Democratic candidate for governor Ron Sparks is in favor of revamping Alabama's antiquated constitution one article at a time, via the legislature. We're happy that Sparks has taken the time to include a second item to his agenda of gambling, gambling, and more gambling, but one article at a time?

We admit we had to look it up; there are 18 articles in our state constitution. Assuming our legislature could actually rewrite one article each yearly session, it would take almost two decades to finish the task. With the history of the Alabama Legislature, does anyone think that Sparks thought this brilliant plan through before announcing it to the electorate? The only way it would work would involve the restriction of bathroom breaks, but we're afraid too many of our legislators already have a jug handy.


The new fountain at the corner of Seminary Street and Mobile Plaza in Florence is now open. We hope to publish some photos soon. Thanks to Andy Brown of Visionary Art and Design for his wonderful addition to our hometown.


Last June 8th, we changed counters for our blog. Today we should arrive at 100K unique hits, with over 150K page hits. Thanks to everyone who supports us.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Terrell Potter for Franklin County Sheriff

Five candidates are vying for the Democratic nomination for Sheriff in Franklin County. Among them is Terrell Potter, a veteran officer with Franklin police departments and the County District Attorney's office.

Anyone who knows Mr. Potter will undoubtedly be voting for him, but if there should be any Franklin County citizens who have yet to meet Terrell, we invite you to check out his website. Franklin County has been plagued with malfeasance and corruption in the past. With Terrell Potter as sheriff, you can be assured of honest law enforcement in an efficient manner. We take great pleasure in endorsing Terrell Potter for Franklin County Sheriff.


Parker Griffith in Florence on May 7th

The Shoals Republican Club will host Congressman Parker Griffith on Friday, May 7th from 4:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. at the offices of Weichert Realtors located on the 5th floor, 412 South Court Street in downtown Florence. Griffith is running for re-election to Congress in the Republican Primary, June 1st. Congressman Griffith will speak about current issues before Congress as part of the meet and greet in Florence. The event is free and open to the public.

As a member of Congress representing North Alabama, Griffith continues to fight for us by working to lower taxes, investing in education, creating and keeping valuable jobs and representing our values in Washington. He has served our community as a doctor and a small businessman creating jobs. As the first Board Certified Radiation Oncologist in North Alabama, he has played a leading role in the early diagnosis and treatment of all types of cancer. This experience continues to aid him in addressing and fighting for the health care needs of our community and opposing national health care reform efforts that are bad for patients and bad for our nation.

Before attending medical school, he taught seventh grade math, and he continues to lecture in our schools on science and health issues. In addition, Congressman Griffith is involved in local schools through the Griffith Family Foundation, which awards the Reading Readiness Grant to public elementary school libraries for the purchase of books and tools to enhance the reading readiness of their students. Parker and his wife, Virginia, have five children and eleven grandchildren.

For more information about Congressman Griffith and his campaign visit his website at or contact Blake Harris at (256)-881-5059. All meetings of the Shoals Republican Club are open to the public. For more information, contact Shoals Republican Club President William Smith at (256) 767-4529, or

Thanks: To the Shoals Republican Club for hosting Dr. Griffith. While it won't be the congressman's first visit to Florence by any means, we hope everyone will discard party affiliation to demonstrate just what a wonderful area the Shoals is.


Monday, April 26, 2010

More on Chad Coker

We're pleased to present the vision statement of Chad Coker, candidate for Colbert County District Judge, along with additional biographical material:

Biographical Information:

This year I will celebrate my seventh wedding anniversary with my wife, Catherine. She teaches
nineteen first graders at G.W. Trenholm Primary School in Tuscumbia, Alabama. Catherine loves her job and the children that she inspires. This is her sixth year to teach. Catherine and I have not been blessed with children yet but we are the proud aunt and uncle to our four nephews (soon to be five) and one niece, all under the age of ten. We await God’s blessing and fully understand that his plan always works.

My parents are Don and Arweeda Coker. Both of my parents were born in different communities outside of Tupelo, Mississippi. Both were reared on farms and were the first in their families to graduate from college. My dad graduated from Florence State University and my mother from Blue Mountain College and Mississippi State University. My parent’s degrees were in education. My father started his career teaching and coaching basketball in Lexington. His career led him to Sulligent and then to Pell City, Alabama. After 26 years of teaching and educating, my parents retired from the Alabama public school system. They then returned home to care for their aging parents and began teaching in Mississippi. My parents are now retired after 40 years of teaching numerous children throughout Alabama and Mississippi.

Vision Statement:

Upon graduating from the University of Alabama School of Law, I moved to Tuscumbia to serve as the law clerk. For a year and a half I researched the applicable law and wrote briefs for the two circuit court judges and Judge Carpenter. I believe that work experience prepared me for my own practice. On January 1, 2001, I began my law practice. I’m proud of the practice I have built representing clients in civil, criminal, domestic, probate and juvenile matters. I am also pleased with my work as Municipal Court Judge for the City of Russellville and the Town of Cherokee.

I have practiced in most of the courts throughout our area. I have seen good judges and I know their traits. They are fair, firm and yet compassionate when the situation calls for it, and most importantly, curious about the law. The best judges are those that are as equally prepared to discuss the merits of the case when the lawyers approach the bench. I believe that the District Court in Colbert County, under Judge Carpenter’s leadership, is well run and as fair a courtroom as you will find in the Shoals area. I want to continue in that tradition.

I feel that too often any candidate running for office espouses change when they might not really fully grasp why the system is working the way that it is. There are over 15,000 cases filed each year in the District Court of Colbert County. The system that is in place in that office has evolved over time to address that increase in volume. There are certainly things that can be improved upon to make things more efficient such as the move to go paperless. Judge Carpenter, despite being one of the longest serving judges in the state, has embraced this move whole heartedly. I could not agree more. It will save the state resources, time and taxpayer’s dollars. I would hope that the county might consider implementing video conferencing whereby criminal arraignments and bond hearings could be held via a video monitor from the jail thus negating the need of the sheriff’s department using manpower and resources in transporting the criminal defendants to the courtroom. I think these are small measures which can be expanded to make the court more efficient and cost effective.

In Colbert County, the District Court Judge serves as the Juvenile Court Judge. It is my involvement in juvenile court cases which have been the most rewarding to me. I’ve handled over 700 of these juvenile cases which have been either custody or delinquency matters. I have represented the rights of parents but also served as an advocate for children in the role of Guardian ad Litem. The State of Alabama now requires certification and continued retraining to serve as a Guardian ad Litem. I have continued to remain certified since the inception of that requirement. Through the role of Guardian ad Litem, I have worked with the Department of Human Resources on hundreds of occasions. In cases where the child has been removed from the home and placed into foster care, I believe that it is equally important that DHR be held accountable to make sure all available resources are being used to reunite that parent and the child. Just as the parents are to be held accountable and follow certain guidelines, so should the State of Alabama operating through the Department of Human Resources.

The next District Court Judge will have an incredible responsibility in hearing these juvenile cases. Often times that child is too young to express his or her own concerns. Too many cases continue to come before the court where the parents are choosing drugs over the safety of their children. You continue to see a cycle of children having children and they are immature and ill-prepared as parents. They are signing on for the toughest job in the world, to be a parent, and they do not have the basic skills to ever begin that journey. As a court, we need to make sure these parents are given an opportunity to gain these skills while keeping the children safe from any neglect. We do need to consider the implementation of additional parenting programs and continue to support the Court Appointed Special Advocate (C.A.S.A.) program which continues to grow in Colbert County. We also need to take full advantage of the Children’s Policy Council and use this group to enhance and increase the resources available to the children of our community. I believe the juvenile court should consider the establishment of a mentoring program for troubled youth that come before the court on truancy or delinquency charges. There are numerous homes throughout our communities where there are too few role models. By placing community leaders and volunteers into mentoring roles for these youth, it can only help the situation and hopefully break a cycle of delinquent behavior.

Finally, as District Judge, I’m going to be fair. The words “innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt” should mean something to all of us. Just because someone is charged with a crime does not mean they are guilty. It is the burden of the state to prove that guilt. The facts, applied to the law, must support the conviction. Our court system can never become a place where one side is favored over the other. The courtroom must remain a fair, neutral ground where cases are decided based upon the laws of this state and country.

As the next District Judge, I’m going to run my courtroom according to the rule of law. I’ll be firm but fair. I’ll rule quickly because I understand that each of those 15,000 files that I see every year impact our citizen’s lives. I understand that my rulings may carry drastic consequences for those individuals and their families. It is an incredible responsibility that I won’t take lightly.

Note: It's refreshing that Mr. Coker is one of the candidates in this race that doesn't see the need to smear the names of others and that he has a good grasp on the need change does or doesn't need to play in today's court system.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Taxes, Taxes

Taxes, Taxes

A Guest Commentary By

J. J. Ray

If one were to spend some time listening to the talking heads on the three major networks, Fox News or CNN, a person would suffer from some kind of mind altering breakdown. Taxes must be the new “in thing” to talk about. I did learn some interesting facts when I began to research the “T” word.

Alabama is one of two states out of fifty that tax groceries. Mississippi is the other one.

Here in Northwest Alabama we are blessed because we also have a two-cent additional tax on gasoline to pay for the Robert Trent Golf course that so many of us use. I am sure that many of us here in Lauderdale, Colbert or Franklin County use this course on a regular basis. Or do we?

Mississippi even with the gambling income, which was reported in 2009 to be 312 Million dollars still, taxes groceries. They estimate that fifteen to twenty percent of that income is from the good citizens of Alabama. Let’s see that would be thirty five to sixty million a years leaving Alabama. This of course does not count lottery monies going to Tennessee, Georgia or Florida. Governor Riley has chastised us repeatedly about the effects of gambling so we have taxes, and more taxes.

That’s right, punish us because we go to other states and gamble. So they can have better educations and our PACT program is dire straits. But hey, we don’t have gambling. Shoot, who wants that three hundred million a year?

The Tennessee Education Lottery has collected nearly $5 billion in revenue, paid out nearly $3 billion in prizes and supplemented the incomes of 4,700 lottery retailers across the state. Far more importantly, it has paid nearly $1.3 billion into a special state education fund that has helped more than 129,000 Tennesseans pay for college.

It has helped tens of thousands more attend vocational training programs at the state's technical centers and it has helped pay for a new pre-kindergarten program serving about 17,000 youngsters across Tennessee, and about $40 million in unclaimed winnings have flowed into before- and after-school programs. We don’t need that either--we have taxes.

Georgia, on the other hand, in its 15-year history, the lottery has generated $10.5 billion for education. About 1.1 million students have attended college on HOPE Scholarships and more than 900,000 pupils have completed lottery-funded Pre-K.

Poor Florida, for Fiscal Year 2009-10, the Florida Legislature appropriated $1.4 billion in Educational Enhancement Trust Funds (including about $178 million in revenues from slot machine activity) to benefit Florida's schools and students. The largest portion of Educational Enhancement Trust Funds, $652 million, was appropriated to Florida’s 67 school districts.

But we have taxes, and what about our college fund? I wonder what percent of Florida, Tennessee or Georgia gambling revenues comes from Alabama citizens. Maybe Governor Riley should set up ports of entry at all border crossings and stop those awful Alabama citizens from going to the adjoining states and gambling. Heck, we could call them the secret police. Everyone get your papers ready or just pray for more taxes and not that evil gambling. There is not profit in it.


We saw this recently on the TimesDaily Forum courtesy of Mental Floss and didn't want anyone to miss it. If you're in a hurry for the punch line, it's at approximately 80 seconds in. In the words of Jed Clampett, "Pitiful."


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Brad Holmes in 2010!

As if you didn't already know, Tammy Irons is not seeking re-election to the Alabama House of Representatives, Place 1. It could be called a wide open field or even a crap shoot, but three Democrats and two Republicans are seeking to succeed Rep. Irons.

Two days ago we profiled one of the Republicans, Quinton Hanson, a man who may have great ideas for the state, but who hasn't yet shared them with the electorate. We previously introduced you to Brad Holmes in June 2009. During the past 10 months, Brad has made it a point to meet the voters and talk with them about their concerns and their vision for combating the problems this state faces. If you haven't yet met Brad, we suggest you take a look at his Facebook
page in order to get a better grasp of his character and views.

It gives us great pleasure to endorse Brad Holmes as the Republican candidate for Alabama House Place 1. Keep up the good work, Brad.


It's Saturday, so it must be raining. We're sure rain and the accompanying thunderstorms have put a damper on the highly publicized re-enactment events that were scheduled today at the Weeden-Sweetwater home. The house was once beautiful, and if it should lose its battle with demolition in the name of progress, it would be a great loss to the Shoals.

However, the home is still in private hands, owned by Susan Leigh Smithson of Atlanta, and also for sale for the small sum of six million dollars. Any money generated by these tours goes to the restoration fund, still presumably controlled by Smithson. If the house and grounds should be sold (we assume Ms. Smithson would take much less than her asking price), any edifices on the property could immediately be torn down.

Sweetwater is not protected by the State or any other government organization. If you wish to tour Sweetwater, by all means do so (tours are confined to the grounds, since the buildings present unsafe conditions), but if you wish to give money to preserve Alabama history, we suggest your money would be better used by the Joe Wheeler home or other organizations over which there is local control.


The Shoals Forum Daily Trivia is now simply Shoals Daily Trivia. The site provides seven different themes each week via the Fun Trivia organization. If you'd like to compete against other Shoals residents, click on this link or the one provided under Shoals Web Sites to the left of this blog.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Charles Moore's Last Assignment

Once again, Whippoorwill Hollow Films brings us an extraordinary view of the Shoals. The video is so moving, so dramatic, that it's easy to forget it was produced here, in a small Sheffield studio. Obviously, in Steve and Sheri Wiggins' competent hands, small studio doesn't mean small film.

We'll insert a random thought concerning this video on Charles Moore; alongside the hooded Klansmen stand paramilitary--men dressed as if ready for combat. Yet our real soldiers are serving halfway around the world, perhaps giving their very lives for our freedom. One has to wonder how these strange throwbacks to a darker time in our history have the audacity to wear such garb. Perhaps it's enough to be thankful their kind grows fewer with each passing year.

Tomorrow: Another look at Brad Holmes


Quinton Hanson Stands For...?

Republican Quinton Hanson ran for the State Senate against Bobby Denton in 2002. Now he's seeking the Republican nomination for Alabama House Seat 1. So...just what will Quinton Hanson do if he should win this seat?

Let's look first at his Facebook page. Mr. Hanson certainly likes quotes; quotes by famous individuals are usually either humorous, informative, or thought-provoking, but they don't tell us very much about Mr. Hanson.

What information this social networking site does provide is more than slightly disturbing. Does Hanson actually question Obama's nationality? If so, he has a poor grasp of laws relating to the presidency or an even worse grasp of the English language. Let's go to his blog. Hmmm, not many entries there, and of those only one concerns the State of Alabama.

After reading these sites, we now know much more about Mr. Hanson as a person, and he certainly seems like someone who has charted the course of his life in a very efficient and worthwhile manner. We just don't know what Mr. Hanson plans to do as a state representative.

Quinton Hanson is a pilot. We doubt that he falls into the "fly by the seat of his pants" category. It's a shame that he seems to take that attitude toward the office he's seeking.

Fabulous Finds: The semi-annual Fabulous Finds sale starts tomorrow. This will be their second sale at their new location on South Seminary Street. If you've never been to one, you're in for an economical treat--just get there early!


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Gil Self - A Compassionate Judge

While we supported James Hall II in his quest to succeed retiring Lauderdale County Circuit Court Judge Mike Suttle, we certainly feel that Gilbert Self has added much to the role, especially the quality of compassion that many felt had been lacking in the office.

Now, Gil Self will face Florence attorney Janice Keeton in June as he attempts to win the Democratic nomination. How does he stack up against Keeton? Both would seem to have equal amounts of education and integrity; how should the voter choose? Since no Republicans qualified for this office, the primary will decide the winner and, perhaps, who will hold the judgeship for many years to come.

There are two fundamental differences in these opponents, one more easily quantified than the other. Gil Self has more experience in the legal realm than Keeton. If experience is all that matters to the voter, the choice would be obvious. If necessity is the mother of invention, the drive to do more and to do it better would certainly be its father.

No one can deny that the local court systems are underfunded and usually backed up. Lauderdale County has managed to hold its own until now, but every day brings new warnings of budget cuts and what the residents of this state may expect. We need someone with drive and determination to improve our court system. We believe that someone is Janice Keeton. We wholeheartedly endorse her for Lauderdale Circuit Court Judge Place 3.


Yesterday's blog referenced misconceptions concerning Mrs. Keeton. Apparently these misconceptions, some perhaps more properly deemed something more sinister, also include her relationship to Christopher Rich. Keeton is not Rich's aunt as widely reported on the TimesDaily and another local forum. Rich is a first cousin once-removed to Mrs. Keeton's husband. We regret this confusion and hope this correction demonstrates even more clearly why she in no way should be held responsible for the actions of another individual.


A reader has sent us a link to one other reference to the American Cancer Assistance organization. The group was chartered in Tennessee this past March. We look forward to bringing you more information about this charity in the future.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Janice Keeton and the Elephant - Part II

Hollie Elizabeth Newbury was 24 when she was shot and killed by her estranged boyfriend late last year. Christopher Michael Rich, 31, immediately left the scene of the homicide with their two children and drove to the Lauderdale County Courthouse where he attempted to contact his attorney Janice Keeton. The "elephant?" Janice Keeton is Rich's aunt.

Many individuals are currently using local forums to blast both Keeton and Sheriff Ronnie Willis for what they call their roles in the murder. Their roles?

Rich is a man in his fourth decade of life; all responsibility for the murder of Hollie Newbury rests solely with him. Anyone who believes that Rich informed his aunt before the fact is sadly lacking in any powers of logical deduction. Second, as a busy attorney with a large immediate family, we doubt that Keeton kept very close tabs on her nephew, nor was it her responsibility to do so.

Let's place the blame where it squarely lies--on the abusive and calculating man who pulled the trigger that cold December morning. This horrible crime has nothing to do with Janice Keeton, who should be an inspiration to those who seek the betterment of themselves and the society in which they live.


Sheffield police can reduce their sex offender count to 30; Harold Rudy Stanback was murdered in Florence on November 27th of last year. We're not sure who's responsible for reporting sex offender deaths to the state, but apparently someone wasn't paying attention.

Tomorrow: More on Judge Gil Self


Janice Keeton and the Elephant - Part I

Yes, Janice Keeton has an elephant in her lobby, so we might as well address it, but first a closer look at this candidate for Lauderdale County Circuit Court Judge. We've previously done short bios on both Keeton and her opponent Gil Self, but feel that recent mudslinging (in no way endorsed by Self) needs to be addressed. Janice Keeton has accomplished quite a bit in her life, and she should be commended for it. From Janice herself, per our request:

Lauderdale County has never had a woman elected to the Circuit Court. It is time for change and it is time for the Circuit Court to work for all of the people of Lauderdale County. Cases need to be moved through the court system as expeditiously as possible and not languish in the system for years before being resolved, this is not acceptable.

Everyone deserves to be treated equally and everyone deserves a fair trial. In criminal cases, victims want justice, and defendants want fairness. There should be consistency in sentencing, and I believe that the new sentencing guidelines are working towards that end trying to make sentencing fair across the board.

I was born in Tuscaloosa, AL and lived in Tuscaloosa and Greene County until my parents moved to Muscle Shoals, AL in November 1969. My father, Allen Partrich, who is now deceased, was a mechanic and ran the Union 76 service station in Sheffield, AL until it closed in the mid 1970's and worked as a mechanic until the early 1980's when he had to go on disability due to emphysema. My mother, Kathleen Partrich, at age 75, she'll be 76 November 1, still works full time at Wal-Mart in Muscle Shoals, AL I have two brothers and two sisters. My youngest sister, Leigh Ann Malone, has worked in my law office as my secretary since I became an attorney.

I married Gary N. Keeton, March 7, 1975, and we will be celebrating our 35th Anniversary in 2010. Gary and I have two children, Kenny Keeton, age 31, is a truck driver and skidder and loader operator for Keeton Logging Company, Inc. which is owned by my husband and myself. Kenny is married to his wife Teresa, and he has two step-children, Haley and Jonathan. Our daughter Carrie, age 29, is single, and manages P & K Western Store in Zip City, which has been owned and operated by Gary's parents, Jimmy Keeton, who is deceased, and Barbara Keeton since the 1960's. I come from hard working, small business families on both sides.

Tomorrow: The Elephant; let's cut it down to size.


Monday, April 19, 2010

American Cancer Assistance?

We mentioned yesterday that we hadn't been able to find any information on American Cancer Assistance Inc. A quick Google search turns up two entries--one our Saturday column and the other a dead link.

So far, the admission for Strutn Into Guinness has been left blank on their MySpace page, but we suggest you consider any money spent the cost of a fun day and not as a charitable donation.


Rapes on UNA campus? An April 15th article in the TimesDaily stated:

Shields estimates that, at UNA, between five and six sexual assaults will be reported.

However, no time period is given. Is this figure for one semester? One calendar year? UNA has always been careful to stress the security of its facilities. No matter how safe any institution, rape happens. If you're raped, report it. Rape Response will be there for you.

Quote of the day: We live in the United States of Attorneys. You beat a bush in America and six lawyers fly out. - Reg Henry


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Strutn into Guinness...

Strutn, a production company owned by Mike Tennyson of Muscle Shoals, is staging a record-shattering event at the Alabama Music Hall of Fame on June 12th. Starting at 10:00 a.m., Strutn will attempt to break four world records. The ads don't specify which records will be falling that day, but the promotional material does call for casual dress for participants.

Proceeds from the event will go to American Cancer Assistance. We've not been able to locate any data on this organization and look forward to learning more about it.

The event, to be held 11 days after the June 1st primary, boasts the sponsorship of Tim Milam, Colbert County District Judge candidate, and Len Gregory, a candidate for Colbert County Sheriff. Either the event has been postponed from its original date, or Milam and Gregory are sure not only of a run-off, but that they'll be in it. We'll see...


New Links: Be sure to check out the new links to some great Shoals blogs. We've spotlighted Dirt Therapy before, but if you haven't yet visited Phillip Oliver's award-winning gardening blog you've been missing some great give-aways, plus Phillip offers his own links to several other wonderful gardening columns from around the U.S. For inspirational reading, we highly recommend Life As I Know It, Garnering Wisdom, and Gathering Life.

Remember: The Shoals rocks, and Shoals bloggers rock the Shoals.


Friday, April 16, 2010

ASCAP's John Briggs & Turn-Around-Time

We once knew a man who was convinced the end of the world was near. Why? According to him, turn-around-time was becoming shorter and shorter.

What's turn-around-time? Some call it karma; others deem it reaping what one sews. We doubt that turn-around-time in general is getting any shorter, or that the end of the world is imminent; but if reports are true, turn-around-time for John Briggs was exceedingly short.

Two separate, albeit unverified, sources reported yesterday that the Chairman of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame Board has been dumped from his position as Vice President of ASCAP in Nashville. The end of the former Killen resident's position with the music association ostensibly resulted from shenanigans related to the defeat of Sen. Bobby Denton's bill to replace the board, as well as the e-mail sacking of long-time Hall of Fame Executive Director David Johnson.

Of course, it was hardly true karma if ASCAP conveyed Briggs' pink slip in person rather than via cyberspace. Who knows, perhaps Briggs will now apply for Johnson's former position. The irony would be sweet, but we doubt that bi-faciality is a requirement of the job.

Since we referred to the bilious Briggs yesterday as "jaded," we thought this only appropriate... (Yes, that's Gary P. Nunn on the keyboard.)


Thursday, April 15, 2010

John Briggs: Consummate Cretin or Just Lowdown Varmint?

John Briggs is Chairman of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame Board of Directors. While he states in his official profile that he was born in Killen, Alabama, unless born at home, we can chalk this statement up to another blot on Brigg's veracity.

Briggs currently lives in the state of Tennessee, begging the question: Even if he should be the reincarnation of Elvis Presley, Jimmie Rodgers, or Ludwig von Beethoven, what is he doing on the board of an entity controlled by the State of Alabama?

As far as we can tell, Briggs doesn't have even the throw-a-way lake cabin located in some backwater of the state. Just in case we're not making it perfectly clear, he doesn't pay any taxes to the state in which he seeks to control certain elements. No wonder Sen. Bobby Denton sought to overhaul this board while he still had the chance.

Two days ago, the majority of the current Alabama Music Hall of Fame Board paid a visit to Montgomery in order to lobby against Denton's bill. As soon as they were successful in defeating the bill in the House, Chairman John Briggs fired Hall of Fame Director David Johnson via an e-mail.

Briggs wears many hats and holds many titles in the music world, among them, Vice President of ASCAP. Obviously a man of his position has better business smarts than to terminate someone by means of an e-mail. Oh, wait, that's just in case the person being fired could conceivably again rise up the ladder of success and be a friend worth having. Briggs apparently doesn't see Johnson as anyone who can ever assist him in his quest for money, power, or whatever this jaded musician may wish for his louche lifestyle.

We would suggest John Briggs learn some manners. Even if his mama didn't teach him right from wrong, we have it on good authority that it's never too late to learn.


In related news, Alabama Music Hall of Fame Board member Buel Springer wants an audit of the group Friends of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. Springer knows this is a private group over which he has no control. Springer also states the audit would cost 25K which the state does not have in its budget. So...why mention it in the first place? Sorry, Buel, that one didn't quite take any of the heat off the board for the manner in which it fired Executive Director David Johnson, but we'll give you a C minus for effort.


C.A.S.A. Chili Cook-Off - Don't make any plans for lunch Saturday. CASA of Colbert County is having a fabulous chili cook-off in downtown Tuscumbia from 11:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Admission is only $5.00, and you can meet many of the candidates for Colbert County office, including CASA Director Tina Miller Parker, as well as local musicians Zac and Angela Hacker. We'll see you there.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Getting VOCAL About Crime

National Crime Victims' Rights Week is April 18-24. A candlelight vigil will be held in Florence's Wilson Park on April 20th at 7:00 p.m. While VOCAL isn't perfect, it does a great work with helping the families of those who have been the victims of violent crime. Many thanks to Denny Kimbrell, current VOCAL president, for all that he does.


Ben Burt Jr. has been denied parole. He will continue serving the remaining seven years of his sentence in the death of Matthew Williams.


Former Burt associate, Mark Anthony Hurley, aka the Reedtown Rapist, has been arrested again while out on bail--this time on drug charges. He was indicted by a Franklin County Grand Jury last week on the current charges of Possession of Marijuana and Drug Paraphernalia. What does it take to keep this man in prison?


Andrew Daniel Scott, aka Hottie Scottie, will face a preliminary hearing in Judge Carole Coil Medley's courtroom on April 30th. Scott was arrested in early February in downtown Florence and charged with the Possession of a Controlled Substance and Drug Paraphernalia.


The reward for information leading to an arrest in the brutal attack on Jake is now $125.00. Please call Capt. Ron Tyler with the Florence Police Department at 760-6576 if you have any information.

Which one is illegal: According to the state audit of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame released in January of this year, one board member was appointed illegally. Interesting, but which one...and why? Could David Johnson use this illegal action in a fight against the Board?


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Bobby Denton & the Alabama Music Hall of Fame

The Alabama Music Hall of Fame, officially opened on July 26, 1990, was visualized as one of the stars in the crown of Shoals tourism. Instead, it became an underfunded and under attended drain on state tax dollars. Even the welcoming signage is forced to display advertising as a means of financing its illumination.

State Senator Bobby Denton intends to change that--a fact that highly irks current board members. If Denton's bill passes the House and is signed into law by Gov. Bob Riley, the Hall of Fame will have a new board of directors composed of appointees by the governor, the Alabama Tourist Association, and the Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association (more on this great organization later). Detractors of the bill stress that such appointees would not have the background in music that is the hallmark of the current board.

That may be true, but a career in music or music education does not a marketer make. At this point the Alabama Music Hall of Fame needs some strong state, regional, and national marketing in order to survive. Who realized that the "Singing Senator" had such vision?


Are you offended?: We at Shoalanda feel that we can easily put a point across, as well as put a ne'er-do-well in his place, without taking the name of God, Jesus Christ, Paul Bryant, or Atticus Finch in vain. With the exception of our satirical "guest commentary" by Bubba Leroy Smuckpucker II, we don't recall a single instance in which even mildly offensive language has been included in our blog. We also realize that other bloggers do use such language in an attempt at humor, satire, or to express great perturbation.

Even though we are of a conservative/moderate political bent, we have great admiration for fellow Shoals blogger Matt Osborne, author of Osborne Ink and frequently featured columnist in the Huffington Post. Last week we added a link to
King Cockfight's eponymous blog. King is a brilliant satirist from that alien region slightly to the south of the Shoals, otherwise known as the home turf of Roger Bedford.

We have received complaints about Matt's blog in the past, choosing simply not to address them publicly. Now, we have received some similar complaints concerning the content of King Cockfight. Censorship is a slippery slope--first words, then ideas. Therefore, in an attempt to strike a happy medium, we are placing an "Adult Content" label by the link to each.


Need a good read?: Visit the Spring Sale at K's Cove in Elgin. Hundreds of paperbacks have been reduced to only twenty-five cents. K has also marked downs dozens of NOW vitamins to $1.00 a bottle. Tanning beds available Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00-6:00. See you at the Cross Roads!


Monday, April 12, 2010

Is Gambling the New "Segregation?"

Memorable pols are known for their distinct war cries; George Wallace won his place of shame in Alabama history by his constant harping on one point--segregation. Fifty years later the political landscape remains eerily similar, with the Democratic nomination possibly hanging on one issue--gambling.

The poor Baptist Boy from a fatherless home, now divorced himself, with only an Associates Degree from a community college, seeks to face off with the happily married Lutheran, the possessor of a Juris Doctorate from Harvard. Only in 2010, the latter is the black candidate, while the former is white.

Why is legalized gambling in Alabama so important to Ron Sparks? Sparks frequently mentions that an education lottery is part of his master plan, yet he even more frequently denounces Davis' education. Could Sparks see gambling as his only ticket to the governor's mansion in Montgomery?

Ron Sparks almost makes Roy Moore look good. Almost...


Lame ducks do some amazing things. We've certainly been surprised by state Sen. Bobby Denton's recent stances on various locally hot issues. It's taken 30 years, but the "Singing Senator" seems to have an itch for a more dramatic legacy, judging by his current take-action positions. More on the Alabama Music Hall of Fame bill tomorrow.


North Florence Apartments, a Hensley-Thompson property, is located at 1414 Chisholm Road, adjacent to a once quiet residential area. Last week, someone standing with a small group of individuals in the parking lot of this complex attacked Jake, a friendly family dog who had managed to escape the safety of its home.

The attack cost Jake his left eye and fueled the animosity of neighbors toward residents of the Hensley-Thompson facility. Currently, Capt. Ron Tyler of the Florence Police Department is heading the investigation into the attack. Capt. Tyler may be reached at 760-6500. Perhaps a call to Hensley-Thompson at 764-3033 would also be in order.

We understand several individuals and organizations are considering a reward for information concerning this crime. If anyone provides info that leads to an arrest and conviction of this God-forsaken piece of filth, we at Shoalanda will add $100.00 to the reward. Someone knows something. It's free money for doing the right thing...think about it.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Should the State of Alabama Control Gambling?

Or, for that matter, engage in retail alcohol sales? While we're in the midst of such profound political debate, we'll further ask if the Federal government should be in the business of selling electricity?

Alas, those questions ultimately lead to the feasibility of letting Ron Sparks out in public without a leash and the advisability of printing tickets to the final showdown between Gov. Bob Riley and TK the AG.

We plan to ponder these politically incorrect questions within the next few days, but first, a look at the Tennessee Valley that many may have missed...

Links: We've recently added a link to one of our favorite blogs, King Cockfight, along with our sister blog Trader Evaluates. We're hearing a lot of great comments about Trader's blog--be sure to let him know how much you're enjoying it.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Anger Management

Anger Management

A Guest Commentary by

J. J. Ray

Ever hear the talking heads on television speaking about so and so going to anger management classes? I wonder exactly what those classes teach. Perhaps that might be the prescription for our politicians both local and national. Oh, we also need to add a truth class to that also. So now, we have anger management and truth for politicians. Now that is a real oxymoron.

Let us take a break and see who is angry. Locally, we have Cherokee where the Hatfield and McCoys stay at war with one another. Others have referred to them as the West Colbert Mafia. That however gives the Southside of Chicago an appalling name. Then of course, there is Leighton where they have a different bunch of angry folks. Florence not be outdone is not only angry but defiant as well. For some reason the residents are not allowed to know why they have secreted the real deal on the country club sale and ECM. Whatever happened to the Sunshine Laws? Guess it has been too cloudy.

Then of course, there is the state legislature and congress. Once again, both of these elements hate their adversaries. What happened to bipartisanship? Does any of this make any sense? Sounds like anger management classes and time with the Dali Llama are in order for all elements.

The next issue is being truthful. Would a politician lie? The answer is, “Are his lips moving?” I am sure there is some truth in some of these individuals but both sides accuse each other of lying. We have “Truth in lending and advertising," why not just plain truth for politicians with no frills?

To quote a famous movie, “What we have here is failure to communicate.” Would it not be easier and cheaper if we just sent the lot of them to “Anger Management Classes”? I am sure they would come back calm and contrite not to mention amiable. And yes, I have some swampland in Arizona I will sell you cheap if you believe that one.

On the other hand, why not fire the whole lot? Ockham's razor, the meta-theoretical principle that "entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity" (the federal government), and the conclusion thereof, is that the simplest solution is usually the correct one. Then termination seems to be the simplest solution for our angry and untruthful elected representatives.

There is one final way to tell where their sympathies lie. Let us see if they are willing to put the new Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution to a vote. “Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States.”

This new amendment is making its rounds through the Internet. Personally, I think it beats anger management. What do you think? Could this simple amendment be the panacea that could cure all of our problems with congress and the state legislature?

Guest Blogs: We welcome guest commentaries. Please send to


Friday, April 9, 2010

Darby Aviation Loses License...Again

Photo courtesy of the FAA

Darby Aviation of Muscle Shoals has lost its operations license for the second time in five years. Pictured at right is the Teterboro, New Jersey, plane crash that caused the private company, d/b/a Alpha Jet, to lose its license in 2005.

Darby Aviation was founded by the late Elton Darby Sr., father-in-law of State Senator Roger Bedford. No word if Bedord may see this as a foreshadowing of his re-election bid.


Sources close to the Red Bay family visited recently by "Jesus Christ" a/k/a "Elvis," say contrary to reports in the TimesDaily, the intruder did disrobe completely--this was after consuming the entire contents of their refrigerator. He was probably hungry since deputies theorized he had walked from Gun Town, Mississippi. At least he went to jail on a full stomach.


Props to James Hall II and John Odem for their clean campaign for the Lauderdale District Judgeship Democratic nomination. Our sources show Hall leading slightly, but no matter the winner, Carole Coil Medley is sure to provide stiff Republican opposition in the general election.


Our sympathies to Mrs. Chad Coker in the recent loss of a family member. Chad, along with Tina Miller Parker, is one of the two front-runners in the Colbert County District Judge's race, and we look forward to hearing more on his platform in the immediate future.


Cherokee's Mignon Willis & Family Problems

As of Tuesday night, former Cherokee Mayor L. Mignon Willis is again associated with the small Colbert County town--this time as water board member. Followers of current mayor Chuck Lansdall have objected to Willis' appointment, stating she lacks credibility in financial matters due to a pending civil suit brought by Rehab Solutions of Tupelo, Mississippi. Before working at Rehab Solutions, Willis was employed as a senior staff accountant in the Orlando, Florida, area.

From 2003 until 2008, Willis was the Chief Financial Officer for Rehab Solutions, a company owned by her cousin Chad Willis and his wife Renee'. We've heard it said it's best never to work for a family owned business, and certainly never one owned by one's own family. Apparently Mignon Willis failed to heed this old adage when she accepted the position with the Mississippi company. Many more in Cherokee fault Willis for toiling outside the State of Alabama than blame her for any intentional misconduct.

The civil suit itself has taken two years to reach the Lee County, Mississippi, circuit court docket. Chad Willis alleges that his cousin Mignon purchased unneeded supplies as well as failing to pay taxes in a timely manner, resulting in a tax lien which ultimately brought embarrassment to his company. The suit also adds that Mignon Willis cashed at least two payroll checks she had failed to deposit before her termination. To the last charge, we say "huh?"

Mignon Willis herself has said little concerning the suit, only stating that it was the result of an ongoing family quarrel. Assuming the suit is not further delayed, it will be tried next month. Perhaps at that time, Willis will be allowed to perform her duties on the water board unfettered by idle and unfounded gossip.


Panty waste redux...again. Several readers have written to theorize that Steve Thompson of Woodmont Baptist Church was actually calling Senator Bobby Denton a "pantiwaist," defined as an effeminate man or homosexual. Understandably, words written in anger are often misspelled, but we have to wonder if Thompson considers pantiwaist less insulting than panty waste...


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The West Colbert Mafia?

The West Colbert Mafia? It seems that A. N. Weaver’s mordant name for Cherokee Mayor Chuck Lansdell and his supporters has stuck. We see no actual physical resemblance to Ben Gazarra in Road House, but are there more subtle ones? We’ll save that question for further contemplation.

However, it’s hard not to notice that Lansdell is always pictured in his black Fire Chief’s uniform. If Lansdell supporters openly admit the lack of official business in the mayor’s office from 9 to 5, we have to wonder how many emergencies the fire department is called to each day--or each week for that matter.

Psychologists have long realized that uniforms are used not only for identification but also for intimidation…


It seems former Muscle Shoals police officer Charles Richard Michael has dropped his employment appeal. According to Tom Smith in Monday’s TimesDaily, the city is currently carrying on an "international" investigation into Michael’s conduct while on duty. We’re not sure if Police Chief Robert Evans actually said international or internal, but our reports of the infraction indicate the offense was definitely internal.


After our special report on Woodmont Baptist Church associate minister Steve Thompson, a reader referred us to an urban dictionary. It seems that “Panty Waste” does not refer to feces, but to a combination of bodily fluids found in women’s underwear after sexual intercourse. Hmmm, quite an insult from a conservative Southern Baptist, wasn’t it?

In fairness to Thompson, he has apologized to Senator Denton for the language used in his scathing e-mail. We hope Denton is cleared of all wrong-doing just as quickly.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Special Report: Who is Steve Thompson?

Before we address the topic of our special report, we wish to make two things perfectly clear:

1. It's our personal belief that gambling is a blot on society; in other words, gambling does more harm than good to a nation, state, family, or individual.

2. It's our personal preference that Alabama State Senator Bobby Denton had not voted to hold a special election on the bingo issue.

Those things being said, neither of them casts any shadow on Senator Denton's probity. One man who has attempted to paint Denton as a blackguard, twice referring to him or his oratory as feces, is Steve Thompson, Associate Minister of Woodmont Baptist Church in Florence.

Here, from Woodmont's own website is Thompson's bio:

Steve Thompson Associate Pastor in Education / Administration Steve Thompson- Steve has been at Woodmont since 1993. He holds a Religious Education degree from Samford University and a Theology degree from Southwestern Seminary. He is married to Cinda and they have a son, Seth, and two daughters, Rebekah and Hannah.

For Thompson, a man who has no scruples about wearing the title "Reverend," to call Denton slimy and dishonest, is beneath contempt. Thompson in no way exemplifies Christianity in any shape or form. Yes, we can understand that Thompson was disappointed in Denton's decision to change his vote. We were also. We did manage to handle the situation without using gross vulgarities and dishonoring the names of God, Woodmont Baptist Church, or any other church.

If Senator Bobby Denton should be guilty of what Steve Thompson and others have accused him, we hope Denton will receive the harshest penalties. If he is innocent, as we believe him to be, we hope Steve Thompson will be held accountable, along with others who have attempted to set up this North Alabama icon.

By request: Don't forget the regular monthly Cherokee town council meeting tonight. Important issues are to be discussed and voted on--don't let a select few tell the majority how to run the town.


Who Set Up Sen. Bobby Denton?

Even if you play bingo or slots, poker or the ponies, we assume you are still adamantly opposed to the crime of political bribery. To accuse anyone of monetary gain or even receipt of a token George Jones memento for voting in a specific manner is no light allegation. To accuse Alabama State Senator Bobby Denton of such a crime is ludicrous--ludicrous to us, but apparently not to certain FBI agents who have interviewed Denton twice in the past four days.

Also questioned were Jim Preuitt of Talladega and Larry Means of Gadsden, two state senators who also changed their stance on placing the bingo issue on a state-wide ballot. Denton has related to his constituents that he prayed over the matter, as well as seeking advice from his wife and minister.
If Denton’s minister was jake with the Northwest Alabama legislator’s vote, not all occupants of local pulpits agreed. One Shoals religious leader wrote:

“What a load of BS. Thank God your sorry butt will be leaving office soon. Good luck explaining this to all your Church of Christ brethren. I hope you get the treatment you deserve from them.”

The TimesDaily refused to identify the name of the foul-mouthed e-mail author; however, if Senator Denton will send us his name, we will gladly publish it. His congregation needs to know what kind of bellowing Cretin stands before them each Sunday morning.

Whether one feels that Denton’s career has been illustrious or not, until now his motives and subsequent actions have never been questioned, begging the question of who is behind the FBI investigation into possible vote buying.
Both Gov. Bob Riley and Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks have been mentioned as possible instigators in the matter. Detractors accuse Riley of becoming vindictive in the waning days of his term, while Sparks desperately needs a high profile issue to distract the public as he attempts to rebuild his flagging campaign. The same could be said for TK the AG, subject of his own FBI probe.

Even for Goat Hill shenanigans, the FBI’s questioning of Senator Denton ranks among the most bizarre. Sell his vote for a guitar? From George Jones? We wonder what these agents would have insinuated had Denton been female--perhaps the gift of silk stockings and a candy bar?

Weather or not? After we introduced our new comics widget, readers requested a similar one for weather. Apparently, they haven’t been scrolling to the bottom of the blog. Several weeks ago, we introduced a weather widget providing temperature and other info, while a click of the mouse will take you to a more detailed forecast from the Muscle Shoals Airport. Stay informed and stay safe.


The TimesDaily has just identified the minister responsible for the rude and vulgar e-mail as Steve Thompson, currently associated with Woodmont Baptist Church. Currently, but perhaps not for long.

Monday, April 5, 2010

"Trader Evaluates" Is Here!

Not sure if you want to try that new restaurant or product? After all, no one wants to spend twenty dollars only to discover six hours later there was a reason that chicken didn't taste quite right.

If you have questions about a new (or old) local restaurant or product, we invite you to send them to Many remember Trader from another popular local news site; but at our blogging group, he will be largely autonomous and have complete freedom to write as much or as little as he chooses.

So, what are you waiting for? Check out Trader's critique of the Mongolian Grill Buffet right now.

What's up with this: A reader informs us that the show in Cherokee is nothing compared to that at Leighton's city council meetings. We wonder if the mayor's former plaintiffs all show up...


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter 2010

Above is a photo depicting spring in Huntsville Botanical Gardens. It was taken from a website entitled Gardening: Doing It God's Way, or loosely translated, bloom where you're planted.

We find that's true for the Shoals and its political arena. How much better would it be if we all did it God's way? We hope that each candidate and voter in the Shoals will ask for God's guidance as the June primary approaches.

Happy Easter,


Saturday, April 3, 2010

RegionalCare: If It Seems Too Good...

The plot so far--RegionalCare has offered to:

1. Purchase Helen Keller Hospital for 60 million dollars

2. Pay off ECM's 140 million dollar debt

2. Retain all the present staff

4. Add physicians to hospital staff

5. Add state of art medical equipment

6. Raise Medicaid & Medicare reimbursement rates for the area

7. Build a new mega-hospital on land to be purchased at a later date

8. Make the new hospital profitable without unduly raising fees/rates

Our take?

1. RegionalCare should be running a chain of casinos

2. If anyone believes this, we have billions of acres of ocean front property in Arizona to sell you


Friday, April 2, 2010

Is Muscle Shoals Municipal Court Clerk Linda Stanley Guilty?

Linda Stanley became Muscle Shoals Municipal Court Clerk in September 1985 at the age of 29. Now, almost 25 years later, the city has accused Stanley of theft. Just six months before Stanley reaches the retirement mark, city officials say the clerk has taken over $500.00 in city court funds. How much over is anyone's guess until the forensic audit is completed.

After Stanley beat out five other applicants for the clerk's position, the Muscle Shoals High School graduate was trained by the Alabama Administrative Office of Courts. Quoted in 2006, Stanley stressed that Muscle Shoals followed Alabama guidelines, collecting only $17.00 from each court cost payment.

Still, with the volume of cases processed through the Muscle Shoals Municipal Court, this amount could easily add up to thousands of dollars. Not all fines are paid directly to Stanley's office; many of them are paid into the system through Probation Services, for which strict records are kept. One local attorney has publicly commented that $500.00 is only the tip of the iceberg--it's simply the figure that qualifies the crime for a felony charge.

We have neither idea nor opinion as to Stanley's guilt or innocence. We do find it odd that the investigation into the charge of missing funds began on Tuesday March 23, after being reported only the day before. By Friday the 26th, the City of Muscle Shoals had terminated Stanley. While the wheels of justice are known to grind slowly, the investigation into Linda Stanley's alleged malfeasance seems to have proceeded at lightning speed.

The City of Muscle Shoals appears to have either a dramatic smoking gun or an otherwise urgent need to rid itself of Ms. Stanley. Let's hope it's the smoking gun, or that small Colbert County municipality may find itself on the wrong end of a lawsuit.

What's up with this: If the FBI wants to engage in a witch hunt in the Alabama Legislature, we suggest they start with Roger Bedford. We've often thought that it was Bobby Denton's scrupulous honesty that has frequently prevented him from furthering this area's agenda. It's a sad world...


Odds, Ends, & Infamous DUIs

One must wonder how Tuscumbia Police Chief Tony Logan expects the citizens of that town to respect the law when he so obviously does not. While he may overturn his DUI conviction in Lauderdale Circuit Court, it will be on a technicality, not because he's innocent. Not a very good example, is he?


We wish to correct a statement concerning Dr. William Roddy made in a recent blog. While Dr. Roddy has treated private Medicaid patients attending the Sara Dinsmore Center in Franklin County, he did not treat those who resided in Scope 310 group homes. We regret this error; Scope 310 (Shoals Cope for the Mentally Retarded) provides excellent services for their clients, and we encourage everyone to patronize their Blue Door Thrift Stores in Florence and Russellville.


Thanks to Whippoorwill Hollow Films for this wonderful video. Steve and Sheri Wiggins do a fantastic job in promoting the Shoals...