Saturday, March 31, 2012

Tommy Arthur in His Own Words (You Tube)

This 1988 interview with Geraldo Rivera has just recently been posted to You Tube. At approximately 38 minutes into the program, twice convicted murderer Tommy Arthur makes an appearance. Tommy does what he seems to do best--attempts to manipulate the truth. During his interview with Geraldo, he claims the killing of the sister of his girlfriend/common-law wife was actually manslaughter. Just for the record, shooting someone in the right eye at close range is not usually manslaughter.

Why does Arthur have so many supporters? We're guessing those who defend him have not investigated either his past or the circumstances of his crime. In his latest attempt at manipulation, he again stresses that another man confessed to killing Troy Wicker. Could it be true?

Obviously anything could be true, but not too many 15 year-old boys frequent bars, strike up romances with women in their 30s, and agree to kill their husbands. We find it sad that so many convicted murderers in Alabama who have rededicated their lives to God are executed, while Tommy Arthur serves a more sinister master and continues to live.


We haven't had a local hero in quite some time. Today we wish to confer that title on Thomas Beane. We recently featured Beane's excellent blog, but Thomas is also well-known as a filmmaker. Thomas has used his abilities to aid in preservation of local landmarks, most notably with a video produced at Sweetwater Plantation under the auspices of the University of North Alabama. Thank you, Thomas, for all you do for the Shoals area.

Related post: The King of Castle Rock


Friday, March 30, 2012

Tommy Arthur Curses Us All

Apparently Tommy Arthur was prepared for the worst this time, even if it didn't happen. His final words to the world were to be a curse, which he forwarded to a friend to type and send to various news media. The person who forwarded this anathema laced document to us does not want Arthur to gain from such publicity, so we will not reproduce it here. Let's just say that his thoughts are not benevolent; even Spot and Fluffy are not exempt from Arthur's rantings. We're sure if you dig you can find them published elsewhere.

If any of you do read his "final words" to us all, please let us know if you can honestly say he wouldn't kill again if released into the general prison population. If the Devil dances in wicked minds, he's having a ball in Arthur's.


Spring Housecleaning Continued
- Those who read various blogs and forums in Shoals cyberspace are aware that certain unscrupulous rumblings have invaded recently--or would that more correctly be ramblings. We're not going to address all of them here, but we do wish to clear up any misconceptions in one area. Until two years ago, Mr. E.A. Truitt was listed here as "publisher." He at no time was ever listed as a partner, although we greatly valued his help.

Sadly, Mr. Truitt is just one of approximately ten individuals who have been painted with a tainted brush and accused of anything from jaywalking to murder. We will have a follow up on this later. Until then we'll simply say that since this group has now named four separate women as "Shoalanda," we don't think their pronouncements should be held in very high regard.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Why Tommy Arthur Should Pay the Ultimate Price

Those who read here regularly know that we do not favor the death penalty in 99.99% of murder cases. We have mentioned before that we do support it when the crime is especially heinous and the admitted murderer would live a better life in prison than he would have on the outside. This was the case with Valentino Miranda who murdered Jennifer Hampton of Waterloo.

We also support the death penalty in such cases as Tommy Arthur. Why? Arthur has openly admitted to one killing. He has been convicted by three juries of a second killing. He shot a jailer to escape. He kidnapped a woman and held her hostage for a short time during his brief freedom. He also stole two cars during this short lived freedom, but considering his other crimes, that seems small potatoes.

So if Arthur's sentence should be commuted to Life Without? Why would this man hesitate to kill a guard or fellow prisoner? We don't think he would. He would have nothing to lose and has proved in the past that he's capable of killing. It's a horrible analogy, but he's like a rabid dog. A merciful end is best for society.


Spring Housecleaning: Due to several recent high profile cases, we've picked up many new readers. We thank you for reading and appreciate your comments. Feel free to agree or disagree as long as it's done without profane or libelous language. We don't usually feel the need to defend our beliefs or practices, but we do choose to defend ourselves against outright lies when they are openly propagated by certain individuals.

Why do we mention names of family of the accused/admitted ne'er-do-wells (assuming they are not involved in the incident)? We can think of only four instances in almost 1,300 blogs that this has been done. We have not done an actual count, so feel free to correct us if necessary. In one case it was done in explanation of why certain judges recused themselves in a case as well as being necessary to explain other aspects of the events leading up to the arrest. In two other instances it was done simply in using a short excerpt from an online biography, one that had appeared in three or four online sites previously. In the fourth and latest instance it was done to distinguish an arrestee from a person in a similar occupation with the same name. If a similar event should arise in the future, you can expect us again to do so. It's not right that an innocent person should suffer simply because they have the same name as a sexual predator.

More tomorrow...


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Youthful Offender for Autumn Maire Wood?

Several readers have asked what legal consequences Autumn Marie Wood faces. Will she be eligible for Youthful Offender status and will she receive it? First, here is the legal definition for "Youthful Offender."

You may be eligible for Youthful Offender Status under Alabama law. If you are under 21 years of age and have been charged with a criminal offense, you may be eligible to apply for Youthful Offender Treatment.

As a Youthful Offender, you waive your right to a jury trial and consent to be tried by the court without a jury. The court will perform an investigation and examination of your record and in its discretion, decide whether or not you will be treated as a Youthful Offender.

 If adjudged by the Court to be a Youthful Offender, the Court, in its sole discretion, may do any of the following:
  1. Suspend the imposition or execution of sentence with or without probation; or 
  2. Place you on probation not to exceed three (3) years and prescribe terms of said probation.
  3. Impose a fine as provided by law.
  4. Commit you to the custody of the Department of Corrections for a term of three (3) years or less, or if the crime with which you have been charged does not authorize a fine or sentence, in lieu or in addition to any fine, the court may also impose a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000).
  5. If the underlying charge is a misdemeanor, you may be given treatment or educational classes as provided by law.
We haven't consulted with our legal eagle friends on this matter, but we have seen others arrested for Felony Murder who have requested such status. Granting of such would depend on Wood's previous record and the opinion of the judge.

We've been told that Wood has had a troubled life, but our informant didn't know of any actual arrests. Assuming she has a clean legal record, the judge assigned to her trial would then make the final decision. Murder cases are usually held in Mike Jones' courtroom, and our guess would be that he would not grant Miss Wood that request.


We've heard from a close friend of Brooklyn Ann Hollins' family. Brooklyn did not live primarily with her grandparents, but her mother and two brothers who reside next door to Brooklyn's grandparents. We're told that the family has no immediate needs, but we want to stress if anyone is organizing a fundraiser or something similar, please inform us so that we may publicize it.


Yesterday we mentioned the recent break-ins in North Florence. The Connection has an excellent article on the events. Be vigilant and stay safe.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

"They Told Their Parents it Was a Sleepover"

Several parents of young girls present at the fatal stabbing of Brooklyn Ann Hollins have publicly stated they thought their daughters were attending a sleep-over at the Winona Street home. Whatever the party was originally, it soon morphed into one with boys and alcohol. Other reports state that not all those attending were drinking, but at least some were.

As Brooklyn lay dying on the kitchen floor, party-goers hastily called their mothers to pick them up. We doubt that any parent realized the enormity of the conditions their daughters were fleeing.

Friends held a candlelight vigil for 14 year-old Brooklyn last night, and Scott Whittle, owner of Miami Ice, has volunteered to host a fund-raiser for her family. Brooklyn reportedly lived with her grandparents. Her funeral will be Wednesday.

We can now do two things for Brooklyn; we can give financial aid to her family--funerals are anything but cheap, and we're pretty sure her grandparents weren't planning on burying their granddaughter. The second thing might be just a little harder for some individuals. Ask your relatives and friends with young teenagers if they really know what's going on in their children's lives. Sure, you might get rebuffed, but you just might wake some of them up. Many things can be a wake-up call, and Brooklyn's senseless murder should be one of them.


We hope OB will forgive this post, or at least part of it. We're addressing all young ladies out there...and older ones also. Go to Wal-Mart, or some nearby sporting goods store, purchase pepper spray and whatever other self-defense items are available. Go to the Dollar Tree and buy alarms for windows and doors. Peace of mind is worth spending a few dollars on items you hope you never have to use.

He's in his 20s. He's white. He wears a baseball cap. He's out and about between three and four in the morning. And he likes to assault women. So far he's been thwarted for the most part. Let's keep it that way. If you see anyone fitting this description, call the police. That's what they're there for. The man stalking women in North Florence is sick; let's be sure we help him get what he needs--a jail cell.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Where Did Ten Thousand People Go?

When we think of population problems in Franklin County and the surrounding areas, most of us tend to think of unwanted Hispanic immigration--at least unwanted in most circles. Apparently there's a problem with the area's population that hasn't been discussed or even publicized to any great extent.

Per the results of the 2000 Federal census, each senate district in Alabama was to have 127,140 citizens. Per the 2010 population, each district needs to have 136,563. In other words, each of the 35 senate districts in the state will have 9,423 more, give or take a few since any population is in flux at any time.

The two local senate districts are One, currently held by Tammy Irons and covering all of Lauderdale County and part of Colbert. The second district is Six, represented by Roger Bedford Jr. and composed of all or parts of Colbert, Franklin, Marion, Lamar, Winston, Fayette, and Lawrence. If population trends had remained static during the past decade each district would have increased by the 9K+ figure...but they didn't.

Reports from the magical metropolis of Montgomery indicate that Irons' district needs to pick up 1,506 citizens. That may not be the news the Shoals wanted to hear about population growth, but it does tell us the district's population increased by 7,917.

Now, let's look at Bedford's district. It needs to pick up 19,518 citizens. That means the population in District Six not only failed to grow, but actually lost 10,025 people. Where did these 10K people go?

From data collected by government agencies, it would be extremely difficult to pinpoint each factor causing the population shrinkage. More deaths than births? That would probably be true. More moving out of the district than moving in? That's the obvious answer. Perhaps some moved to Lauderdale County? Good for Lauderdale; however, we're betting most moved to even larger metropolitan areas--if they remained in Alabama at all.

Adding the large influx of Mexican and Central Americans to the mix, that means even more long time citizens moved away. Most of these were probably white since the black population in this district is historically low to non-existent. 

Besides the problem of a fair reapportionment using strictly numbers, you have what could be an even greater problem. Bedford is already representing a population spread over seven counties. Will he pick up part of an eighth? Probably not, but the actual land area will increase. No matter how good a senator Bedford might be, he can't fairly represent such a large geographic area. What happens when his part of Colbert is vying for a new industry with his part of Fayette (sometimes considered in the Tuscaloosa metro area)?

Would more districts solve the problem? More districts mean more senators (read: politicians). The mind wobbles.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Slumber Party/Sleep Over/Lock In: They're Still Just Kids

Bailey's Bailiwick on Sleep Overs

17 Year-Old Autumn Marie Wood

Anyone who has watched or read the news since Saturday morning knows about the stabbing death that took place in North Florence this weekend. The TimesDaily is calling the scene of the death a "house party." My guess is it was what's usually called a "slumber party" for a small group of teenage girls. These are sometimes called "Lock Ins" since no one is allowed to come or go during certain hours. From reports, these girls were not only not locked in, they were not supervised.

Most 17 year-old girls don't socialize that much with 14 year-olds. Were they part of a church group? Was the victim a party-goer's younger sister? It probably makes no difference. The younger girl is just as dead.

Why didn't this party have adult supervision? Sure, adults in the house could have been asleep. Maybe they were called away unexpectedly. Again it's all hindsight. It just seems that parents need to exercise a little foresight.

If the federal government says 17 is too young to vote or enlist in the military, it just might be too young to have an unsupervised party. 


News reports in today's TimesDaily state the party that took place on Winona Street in Florence was apparently an all night party orchestrated by the teenage daughter of the home's owners. The girl's parents were not present, nor were any other adults. There were approximately 17 in attendance at the party, including some males. Autumn Marie Wood, 17, will be charged as an adult in the death. She faces Felony Murder charges.

We agree with Bailey. Do you know where your children are? Especially at 3:00 a.m.?


Saturday, March 24, 2012

"The Difference is How We Die"/Fifth Stay for Tommy Arthur

Death Row at Holman Prison

Since Christie Bray Scott's arrival on the female edition of death row in Alabama, Louise Harris has left the exclusive community, having had her sentence commuted to Life Without Parole. The following is a short excerpt from a series written by Kym Klass.

The message that Alicia Smallwood-Brown works to pass on to the five women she ministers to on death row at Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women is one that makes them feel inclusive:
We will all die for our sins. The difference is in how we die. The women that Brown ministers to at Tutwiler are in lock-up for 23 hours a day because their crimes were so bad that the courts believed they should die for them. While this is mankind's judgment, the women need to consider a higher one, Brown tells them. "I tell them we are all on death row ... everyone has to die," she said. Brown is Tutwiler's chaplain, and she has ministered to all the women there for almost two years. She entered the prison at a time when the inmates went months without a minister. A few months can seem like a long time when you are in prison, especially when a chaplain is your one outreach. That is especially true for those women on death row, women behind steel doors who desperately needed a connection, and who had been praying for a minister to study the Bible with them. For those five women -- Louise, Shonda, Patricia, Tierra and Christie -- the weekly ministry is part of their lifeline. It is their connection to helping to right wrongs, to prayer, to forgiveness.

Colbert County's Tommy Arthur has again seemingly cheated the death penalty for which he asked upon his conviction for the murder of Troy Wicker of Muscle Shoals. Arthur's fifth execution date has been stayed due to uncertainties concerning the drug cocktail trifecta used in Alabama's lethal injection protocol.

Arthur has spent the majority of the last 30 years behind bars for Wicker's murder. Interestingly, Arthur also has an earlier Felony Murder conviction for the murder of Christie Bray Scott's aunt. It's a small world in some Alabama circles.

Related posts:

Judy Says

Life without Parole

Sherrie Arthur


Friday, March 23, 2012

Cassie Carol Medley: New Franklin CoC Director

W. Kevin Stone
The Franklin County Chamber of Commerce voted unanimously to hire Cassie Carol Lindsey Medley as its new director; she was chosen from among 18 applicants. Previously, Medley worked for Valley State Bank in Russellville at a branch managed by W. Kevin Stone. Coincidentally, Stone is on the board of directors of the Franklin County Chamber.

Stone isn't Medley's only tie to the chamber. Cassie Medley is also the owner of Dixie Catering, a business that is a chamber member. Not surprisingly, many of the 17 other applicants have been crying foul.

Medley has proclaimed her experience in the business world made her the ideal choice for the job, yet other applicants had similar backgrounds. In fact, many would have seemed to have much more impressive backgrounds. It's possible that in a town as small as Russellville, in a county with as sparse a population as Franklin, each of the remaining 17 could have had similar connections with board members and the board in general.

We expect to have a follow-up blog on the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce and its new director in the not too distant future. Promoting Franklin County to the world is a huge job, and we wish Mrs. Medley good luck.


Will the Alabama Music Hall of Fame reopen...ever? If we must venture an opinion, we'll speculate the answer is "no." We don't seem to be alone in that opinion. Here's a very insightful piece from Steve Wiggins of The Quad-Cities Daily:


Pictured above is a scapegoat...or is that David Johnson, former long-time director of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame?


Thursday, March 22, 2012

New Franklin CoC Director/Life for Ashley Greenhill?

The Franklin County Chamber of Commerce received 18 applications for the position of director, interviewing seven candidates. The position reportedly will pay between 30K and 40K, depending upon experience. Considering the economic climate in Franklin County, we're surprised there weren't more applicants, but we don't know how widely the opening was posted.

How did the chamber eliminate the 11 who weren't interviewed? There could have been many deciding factors, but we're going to rule out education, since the new director lists only a 1991 diploma from Russellivlle High School. More importantly, of the those interviewed, how did the chamber come to select the 38 year-old small business owner?

Tomorrow: Cassie Carol Lindsey Medley


Several readers have asked how long Ashley Fawn Greenhill will serve for her part in the cover-up of Amanda Taylor's murder. These are the applicable laws in Alabama...

Abuse of Corpse: 

(a) A person commits the crime of abuse of a corpse if, except as otherwise authorized by law, he knowingly treats a human corpse in a way that would outrage ordinary family sensibilities. Abuse of a corpse may include knowingly and willfully signing a certificate as having embalmed, cremated, or prepared a human body for disposition when, in fact, the services were not performed as indicated.
(b) Abuse of a corpse is a Class C felony.

Hindering Prosecution:

(a) A person commits the crime of hindering prosecution in the first degree if with the intent to hinder the apprehension, prosecution, conviction or punishment of another for conduct constituting a murder or a Class A or B felony, he renders criminal assistance to such person.
(b) Hindering prosecution in the first degree is a Class C felony.

Maximum Sentence:

With this conviction, the sentence is no less than two years and no more than twenty years. If firearm or other deadly weapon is used the minimum sentence is ten years. Fine is no more than $5000.


Matthew Fox, Ashley Greenhill, and Laurel Pruett could all face a sentence of 20 years. Their previous criminal records, if any, would be taken into consideration. Ashley Greenhill has at least three previous felonies (one violent). She could possibly be tried as a habitual offender and given a life sentence--either with or without parole.


Why wasn't Ronald Eugene Weems indicted for Capital Murder? Our guess is the district attorney's office felt the autopsy/forensic report on Weems' victim Amanda Taylor did not prove rape as has been speculated in some circles; neither could any actual robbery be proved. That effectively ruled out  a Capital Murder indictment.


The ShoalsInsider has reported that Ashley Greenhill's two children are no longer living with her parents, but are in foster care. The father of Greenhill's younger child remains in prison. We don't know if Greenhill has relinquished all claims to the children, but doing so could possibly win her some small favor with the state. These two children deserve much better than they have received up until this point.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ashley Fawn Greenhill Indicted

Ashley Greenhill, aka Ash Lette

Ashley Fawn Greenhill has now joined Ronald Wikkid Weems, Laurel Pruett, and Matthew Fox (Fudoshin) as one of the accused in the Amanda Taylor murder case. A Colbert County grand jury indicted Greenhill, who uses the stage name Ash Lette, for hindering prosecution and abuse of a corpse. 

Sources say the stripper from Killen remains in the Muscle Shoals jail with bail set at 250K. Sources further stated Greenhill has not been transported to the Tuscumbia City Jail, where Colbert County's female prisoners are housed, in order to keep her and Laurel Pruett separated. Both women were sometime girlfriends of Weems, and Greenhill turned in the other three in an effort to avoid prosecution.

We may now wonder why Laquania Weems, Ron's mother, was not similarly indicted and arrested. Perhaps the grand jury felt a mother's love is blind?

Related posts:


A related comment from "Heather" on the PYSIH site:

I actually attended Brooks High in Florence with Ashley Greenhill… And hung out with her on a daily basis until I moved back to my hometown in Ga. We were all huge fans of ICP back then but I figured we would all grow out of it. I know I did. Woowww. What a crazy thought. I am really just in disbelief to see her on here but I don't guess I should be... 


NOTE: We have received an unconfirmed report that the charge of "murder" was dropped against Matthew Fox. Fox was not in the Moss Avenue home at the time of the murder and was unaware of the crime until contacted by Ash Lette.


We'll continue with our series on the new director of the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce tomorrow.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Whom Did Franklin County Hire?

Kerr County, Texas, has a population of just under 23K. Franklin County, Alabama, has a population just under 32K. Despite Franklin County having a larger population than Kerr, the Texas county enjoys a higher median income. This isn't surprising. The majority of the counties in the U.S. have a much higher average and median income. That doesn't mean Franklin County isn't trying. One of Franklin's main promoters is the county chamber of commerce.

The former director of the Franklin Chamber resigned in January to take a position with the local school system. That left Franklin County scrambling to find a successor for Nina McNatt. Similarly, the Kerr County Chamber of Commerce has been looking for a new leader. What experience and attributes will the new director in Kerr County have? From their website:

JOB SUMMARY: Responsible for providing leadership, fiscal and personnel management, planning, membership development, reporting and coordination of all administrative operations, programming and activities of the Chamber.


Leadership: represent the organization to all constituent groups and be the public ''voice'' and ''face'' of the Chamber.
Membership development and member services: Recruit and retain chamber members and insure that activities are member focused and done for the benefit of the business community.
Budget development and fiscal management: Develop a balanced budget that includes appropriate revenue sources to fund the operations of the Chamber. Manage the fiscal affairs of the Chamber so that the Chamber operates in the black and actual revenue and expenses meet the budget outline. Also manage the fiscal affairs and cash flow needs of the Chamber.
Communications: Provide clear and timely communications so that the board, membership and all appropriate constituents are fully informed of activities, positions taken, and the condition of the Chamber is clearly known.
Program development and oversight: Develop programs that align with the Chamber's mission and that benefit the Chamber, Chamber members and the business community.
Liaison to Chamber Board and Executive Committee and other ''partner'' organizations including but not limited to: KEDC, CVB, City of Kerrville, and Kerr County Government
Oversight of building and grounds management
Staff Management, supervision and development including hiring, performance management and firing, as necessary.


-Prefer a Bachelor's Degree
-Prefer U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute training
-Prefer chamber management experience or experience with an equivalent organization (at least 5 years)
-Should have strong leadership skills and be able to demonstrate from current and previous positions.
-Demonstrated budget and fiscal management ability and experience.
-Demonstrate a clear understanding of the business community and business environment including economic development. 

-Knowledgeable of nonprofit corporations with full knowledge of the responsibilities that guide said corporations and maintaining the operations within the stated laws.
-Supervisory skills and demonstrated experience managing personnel and personnel issues, policy development and administration, and general operations of the Chamber program.
-Should be knowledgeable about working with volunteer boards of directors, leadership training for said volunteers and providing a basis for cooperation and good will within the organization.
-Must have outstanding planning and organization skills.
-Must have strong command of written and verbal communication skills and strong public presentation skills.
-Must be a self-starter, creative thinker with a high energy level.
-Must have working knowledge of all normal office equipment and software to include computers, software, fax machines, postage machines, etc.
-Prefer experience and understanding of the use of social media to promote programs and activities of the organization.


Serving as President/CEO of the Chamber requires responsibility of daily office operations and management as well as attendance at meetings, special events, and entertaining of guests and/or business prospects that are often held in the evening and/or on the weekends. There are many times that travel will be involved in conducting business recruitment, retention, or professional training. This is a position that requires good health and high energy. Even though the physical responsibilities are fairly normal (office work and light lifting of paper goods, office supplies, etc.), the stress of dealing with the public and managing multiple projects can be difficult at times. This position does require the driving of an automobile.

Compensation and Benefits
-Salary Range: $80,000-$90,000 commensurate with experience
-Civic Club Membership
-Professional Organization Membership
-Health Insurance
-Continuing Education

Note: If any of our readers are interested in the Kerrville County job, the last day to apply is April 12th.

The above job description is quite specific. It would seem Kerr County expects a great deal from its new director. One would think Franklin County would also. Obviously, the director would preferably not be learning on the job, but diving right in to promote the financially strapped Franklin County and its similarly beleaguered towns of Russellville, Red Bay, and Phil Campbell--the latter almost totally destroyed last April.

It's also a safe bet that the new director's salary won't be close to that of the new director in Kerr County, but it's certain that the economy being what it is in Franklin County, the position would be considered a plum job.

So whom did Franklin County hire?

To be continued...


Monday, March 19, 2012

Lakeshore Pediatrics: No Money? No Humanity...

We strongly support Alabama's anti-illegal immigration bill. That does not mean we think it's perfect. It was hastily written and similarly adopted. We do believe it fell into the category of a curfew for teenage children. You give them 10:30 p.m. as time expected home in order to get them there by 11:00 p.m. Our legislature expected many parts of the law to be challenged and indeed thrown out in court.

Are medical transactions business? Yes, in the U.S. they are, and we believe they should be. Medical personnel should not be forced to work for free or a government set wage. That does not mean they do not have a duty to humanity. We also certainly believe such transactions should be exempt from anti-immigration legislation.

We were greatly amused by the comments of a local CRNP in the TimesDaily. Rebecca Kay Thompson of Lakeshore Pediatrics stated:

“We see patients if they are present in the office — it would be inhumane not to. If they have insurance, we see them, or if they don’t have insurance and they want to pay for the visit, we’ll see them."

The owner of Lakeshore Pediatrics, Agustin Rivas, is a native of Mexico. We're assuming this was the rationale for the TimesDaily contacting that particular group for a quote. We understand that Ms. Green's comment was, in all probability, hers and was not endorsed by any physician associated with Lakeshore. That didn't make her remarks any less humorous...or disturbing.

We predict unless Lakeshore appoints a media czar there will be no more public comments from this group. Unless, of course, Lakeshore Pediatrics really feels that only money can produce humanity.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

"The King of Castle Rock"

 Michael Rooker & Thomas Beane

The blogosphere is like the universe, ever expanding--at least that's our excuse for not keeping up. While reading a Facebook post of our friend Thomas Beane, we discovered he has a blog, a very good blog, a fantastic blog in fact. We've found blogs are always better when nouns and verbs are in agreement and we don't have to rotate the screen to make heads or tails of it.

The "King" in Thomas' blog is none other than Stephen himself, and that should get most bibliophiles' ink juices flowing. If you don't like Stephen King? Well, shame on you for starters, but we think you'll find many items of interest here whether King's unique brand of horror (or should that be frights of fantasy) is to your liking or not.


Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows that we don't distance ourselves from controversial stances. Therefore, we're about to offend many, including a few dear friends, but we love what we've seen so far--it's brilliant. If you don't know what we're talking about, here's an initial peek. We can hardly wait until the merry month of May.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Rhea Tays Fulmer v. Joe Frank Fowler/Roy Moore

Rhea Tays Michael Fulmer--Current Lauderdale Commissioner

Democratic incumbent Rhea Tays Michael Fulmer will face Joe Frank Fowler in the April 24th runoff. The winner will face Republican Roger Garner in the November general election to determine who will represent District 1 on the Lauderdale County Commission.

Both Fulmer and Fowler have stated they support RegionalCare building its new medical center in Lauderdale County. Not too many surprises here, are there? Fowler is a former Lauderdale County school board member, and both candidates come with a lot of baggage. Since Fowler has failed to utilize social media in this race and has already finished second to Fulmer in the March 13th primary, it's not difficult to predict Fulmer will win the nomination.

Is she a better choice? We believe the race offers a Morton's fork; therefore, we're not endorsing either candidate. Republican Garner has shown he's extremely effective at campaigning, so whoever wins the April election will have a strong opponent in the fall. Thank God.

More candidate info:

Click to Enlarge


We've had reports of at least one reader being disturbed by our reference to Roy Moore as a returning fungus. Let's look back at some of Moore's greatest moments...

1. He called the state's first case of mad cow disease a plot to help pass an animal identification system.
2. He told his replacement Chief Justice Gorman Houston that he was going to hell.
3. He placed a granite monument depicting the Ten Commandments inside the state judicial building...complete with the wording "c. Roy Moore." (We're pretty sure God doesn't like plagiarism.)
4. He said in 2005 that homosexuality shouldn't be tolerated in Alabama. (We're not weighing in on the right or wrong of that particular orientation. We just want to be sure Moore doesn't decide to not tolerate them with gas chambers.)

We could go on, but you get the idea. We'll gladly accept comments concerning Roy Moore's beliefs and his candidacy.


Friday, March 16, 2012

April 24th: Important or Not?/Keith Collier Jr.

Keith Collier Jr.

Our friend Dino has pointed out the exceptionally low turnout in the two Lauderdale County Commission races. All right, you guys in Lauderdale, do you not care who sits on the commission? Were you watching any of the commission's antics recently?

Lauderdale has only two districts and a total of four commissioners. That makes it extremely important that these candidates can walk and chew Double Bubble at the same time. We endorsed accountant Keith Collier Jr in the primary and we are happy to endorse him again in the April 24th runoff.

Why do we need Keith as a commissioner? The word accountant should stand out to all of us. If any county ever needed an accountant on its commission it's certainly Lauderdale--a county known to write checks for .02 between accounts. Apparently the concept of a journal entry is unknown to the present commission.

You say that's a minor issue? Yes, it is; but if our commission can't figure out how to transfer two cents between county bank accounts without writing a check, do you think it's doing any better with major issues? Fay Parker promises to fight to keep the hospital in Lauderdale. Does he think any Lauderdale elected official is going to fight to build it in Colbert?

We need intelligence and accountability. We need Keith Collier Jr. as Lauderdale County Commissioner for District 2.

Related post: Your Two Cents


Additional data on the two candidates:

Click to Enlarge
Tomorrow we'll feature the race for District 1.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bubba Weighs In...Sort Of

Thanks once more to Miss Shoalanda for letting me have some of her precious publishing space here. I know it's valuable bein' free and all. The reason I wanted to talk to all of ya'll is I've just read some books. Now, don't laugh. I really have. I've read not one but two books on the internal combustion engine. That may sound real fancy an' all but to you unlarned folks it just means car motor.

Well, see now, I've read these two books and even understood much of 'em. Pretty good for an ol' guy like me, huh? Oh, I forgot to mention that since Junior has taken over most of the septic tank business I've got a lot of free time on my hands an' pickin' up beer cans on the side of the new highway just doesn't bring in that much. So I've decided to become a mechanic. I thought about it for some time and thinkin' is pretty hard for me so I finally just said to self, "Self, go for it. You got two shade trees in the front yard an' all."

So if any of Miss Shoalanda's readers live near Dog Ear, you know where to find me. If I can't fix your car's engine in three or four days I'll give you a free septic tank clean out.

Bubba LeRoy Smuckpucker II
Dog Ear, Alabama

Foghorn Junior High Class of 1982


We're really impressed by Bubba's new found calling. We do need to point out that such things are not that unusual. Several local politicians, even office holders, seem to have been led to their calling in the same manner.


A reader has informed us that the owner of Sidelines II, formerly of Muscle Shoals, is not Game On as stated in the TimesDaily, but GameOn. The registered owner is Thomas Drake (Tad) Austin III of Sheffield.


Note: We found our illustration for Bubba's new vocation at a site called Tiny Cat Pants. If you feel you need some extra humor in your day, this just may do much to fill the void.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

It's the Alabamans' Fault/Metro Properties LLC

It looks like Rick Santorum has won the largest part of the state's Republican delegates. Is this surprising? Yes, for some strange reason it is...just as it's surprising to us that Fay Parker currently has the lead over Keith Collier Jr. for Lauderdale County Commissioner. At least in the latter race there will be a runoff. Some races are always iffy, but why that particular one should be is beyond our ken.

Oddly enough, we've only recently discovered that some of our state's citizens refer to themselves as Alabamans. Weren't they taught in grammar school that it's Alabamian? If they weren't, we're sure we could dig up some former teachers who could elucidate them...or perhaps not. Sadly we might have to literally dig some of them up.

Now let's get prepared for the runoffs. Aren't they fun?


Several readers have asked the names of  the owners of Metro Properties LLC of Colbert County and Game On LLC of Florence. Metro Properties is owned by Kenneth Crump, but we can find no Florence listing for Game On. Both entities lost heavily in the Christmas 2010 fire at Sidelines II in Muscle Shoals.


From D.K. on child rapist Jeffrey Noel Rickard:

The State of Alabama Pardon and Parole Board turned down Jeffrey Rickard's Parole, 5 years  for next Hearing. He has a total of 21 marks against him, with 5 of them within this Year, one for contraband, and he has an Indictment for that in Elmore County when he serves his time.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Vote/An Arson Verdict/Troy Woodis Complains

Remember, if you don't vote today, you have no right to complain about what all those elected officials do, or perhaps don't do. Besides, we hear several polling places have new voting machines that resemble electronic slot machines. Isn't Milton McGregor proud?


It took almost 15 months, but last Friday produced a conviction in the Sidelines II arson. Interestingly, the name Anthony Dee McAnnalley was not one we had heard before. From December 2010:


Troy Woodis has been quoted in the TimesDaily as stating The Connection's article on his personal and corporate lawsuits was politically motivated. We're not sure if Woodis is blaming his opponent Lane Roland or not, but if so, at least someone knows how to get in touch with Roland. Stay tuned...


Monday, March 12, 2012

The Shoals is Not the Many/Go with Mo?

We haven't yet endorsed any candidates beyond a local level. We will state that as honest and brilliant a person Dr. Parker Griffith is, Mo Brooks has made things happen. He will be our personal choice tomorrow. Starting over every two years is not the way to make things happen for us on a national level.

But what of the presidential race? We see that our friend Justin has put in a plug for Santorum. We're still not sure if that is humor or not. Romney seems the lesser of all the evils floating about in the Republican flotsam, but should we lose sleep over our choice?

The Shoals is a very small frog to any presidential candidate. We're sure each of them, if here, would speak with great fervor of what he planned to do for this area. We're also sure that six months later, that candidate would say, "Muscle Shoals? Is that in Georgia or Florida." No, we can't compete with New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago; however, the way things are looking we may soon be able to give Detroit a run for its money.

We'll come back to another of Justin's comments. He feels we are to care for all who come to us for aid, but we ask how can we? It has always been our belief that if each community makes the most of its resources, those communities won't need the state except in dire emergencies. If states put an honest effort into recruiting industry, they won't need the Federal government to assist in local projects.

It begins here in the Shoals for us. It begins with such individuals as Mel Grimes and Keith Coillier Jr. who have proved themselves in other areas, who have no personal agenda. If we continue to vote vipers in, we can't expect to receive anything less than venom from our elected officials.


A few have asked about Lane Roland's current involvement with the North Alabama Gas District, if any. We have been unable to contact Mr. Roland; however, one reader who knows Mr. Roland personally has stated he doubts that Roland remains as a consultant. In this day of social media reign, this is a perfect example of why Facebook should be a must for every candidate.

We'll add a humorous note that Roland's opponent for the Colbert County commission seat, Troy Woodis, has not answered The Connection's article concerning his recent financial problems. Several readers have mentioned Kilgore Hardware has made copies of the piece and is passing them out to customers. Well...we do believe in being politically proactive. Link: Troy Woodis

Our poll on linking a blog showcasing a sex offender has ended. Over three hundred votes were cast, and by a small margin, readers have asked that we not link the blog to ours. We appreciate those who do send us links to local blogs. We can't promise to link all of them, but we will try to find room for those that promote the growth and safety of the Shoals area.


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Franklin County?/Two Days & Counting

A few readers have asked why we haven't endorsed a full slate of candidates in Franklin County, as we have in Lauderdale and Colbert. Franklin traditionally has a larger ballot, featuring some offices that don't exist in the other two counties. We've also received much less input, either good or bad, from Franklin County concerning what might be termed lesser offices.

We have noticed a candidate named Randy Hargett running for the county commission. We know nothing of Mr. Hargett, either positive or negative. His name did remind us of a problem former Franklin County District Attorney Chris Hargett encountered while in office. At that time he was continually asked if he was related to then police officer Chris Hargett. The latter Hargett is now police chief in Russellivlle. D.A. Hargett never failed to answer in the negative and placed strong emphasis on the fact. We do wonder if candidate Randy Hargett is claiming kin to either?


A few words from two endorsed candidates in the last days of the campaign:

From B.J. Tully -Thank you for your endorsement in the Lauderdale County Commission Dist. 1 Republican Primary. I have always put the citizens first and will continue to do so when elected commissioner

From Mel Grimes - It is my hope that within the next few years Lauderdale County will be well on the way to becoming a template for county governments everywhere. To achieve this goal, our community must establish the following priorities:

1. A love for God, our country and our neighbor.

2. We must find ways to mitigate the devastating effect of crime on life and property.


A guest commentary:  I know that Shoalanda Speaks primarily addresses what could be termed the tri-county area, but I also know that many readers come from Limestone County. Limestone has a growing Republican vote, and for those voting in the Republican primary this Tuesday, I'm asking that you vote for Brad Curnutt for Circuit Court Clerk. The three needed attributes for any office are honesty, ability, and experience. Brad certainly has the first two, and I believe his record shows he also has the third. Thanks for your consideration.


Tomorrow will be our last blog before our state's Super Tuesday. If you have any comments, please send them now so that we may publish them tomorrow as early as possible. Thanks to all our readers.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Roger Keith Pitts: 20 Years Later

Roger Keith Pitts, 42, of Waterloo has been arrested in a long string of recent robberies in the west end of the county. Pitts is no stranger to the news; in 1992 he was tried for a senseless killing and found guilty. Not everyone will remember Pitts' heinous act; their reaction to Pitts' crime at the time would have depended greatly on their mindset and the depths of their feelings.

It was Christmas Eve 1991 when George Taylor traveled from his Rhodesville home to Florence. It had become a regular trek for Taylor whose wife Elizabeth was recovering from heart surgery at ECM. When Mr. Taylor returned home, he found Bucky Taylor lying in a pool of blood, his head missing.

Bucky had been a member of the Taylor family since he was a three week-old fawn. The four year-old stag and his mate Babe loved and greeted everyone. Roger Keith Pitts took advantage of that, luring the deer to him and shooting him at point blank range. Pitts then decapitated Bucky, took photos, and bragged to fellow yobs how he had killed the deer while hunting.

George Taylor was able to identify pictures of Pitts with Bucky's remains, and two weeks after the killing, Pitts was arrested. He was found guilty and sentenced to six months in jail. Was the sentence appropriate?

The Taylor's children were grown, and it was well known in the community that Mr. Taylor had been batching it while Mrs. Taylor was hospitalized. We have to wonder what would have happened if Mr. Taylor had discovered Pitts on his property. Would he also have been the victim of sometime tree-trimmer Roger Pitts?

Let's hope the Lauderdale County District Attorney's office manages to put Roger Keith Pitts away for a long, long time.


Friday, March 9, 2012

B.J. Tully/Carla's Closing/Runners

 B. J. Tully

If you live in Lauderdale County, you've heard the name B.J. Tully. Mr. Tully has long worked in law enforcement and similarly toiled in the political vineyard. The Republican is currently running against Roger Garner for the county commission seat in District 1.

Both gentlemen have good records, but Mr. Tully has more diverse experience and has proved himself in numerous capacities. We wholeheartedly endorse B.J. Tully for the Republican nomination.


Have you eaten at Carla's Sandwiches & Burgers yet? Open less than two months, we hear that today is their swan song. The South Court Street location was previously home to Backyard Burger, another regional chain that failed to make it there, not once but twice.

We're still hearing rumors that Zaxby's is considering downtown Florence. The main question is will they give this location a try or consider it jinxed at this point?


Fast Delivery for Fine Dining: If you live or work in the immediate Shoals area, you should be familiar with Runners. This new business is something of a novelty in the area, but owner Bill Gibbs tells us it's gaining new customers each day. For a small charge, Runners delivers for several local restaurants and is adding to the list daily.


The legal system failed Tommy Arthur? We wonder how long Arthur would have been allowed to live if human existence depended upon what a person gave back to society?


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Montgomery v. Olivis: Their Supporters are Many

Teachers Fighting the System

Most Shoals voters know school superintendents are appointed in city systems and elected in county systems. Is one method better than the other? Each has its advantages, but the county elections always bring just a little extra zing into the voting booth.

We recently endorsed Robert "Tuc" Montgomery for Colbert superintendent, and did that cause the e-mail inbox to overflow. All who contacted us stated that we may use their names; however, since we're assuming these voters have children in school, we prefer to publish a few comments without attribution. Rest assured they do come from our readers.

Supporting Mr. Olivis:

I...did not understand the sentence "due to the obvious disparity in the scholastic records of the two candidates".  Mr. Olivis has a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education and a Masters degree in Educational Administration.  He has served in the Colbert County system as a Teacher, Assistant Principal, Elementary Principal and High School Principal.  In addition to educational experience, Mr. Olivis also served 22 years with the U.S. Army National Guard & Reserves and answered the call to serve in Iraq in 2005.

I know both of these men, being a resident of the Colbert Heights community and I will be voting for Mr. Olivis.  If you choose to support Mr. Montgomery, that is your choice.  You should not imply that you have looked at both candidates objectively if you have not.


I have known Anthony Olivis for 30 years and have worked with and for Mr. Olivis for about 10 years.  He is a very hard working, intelligent, and christian man who in my opinion is the most qualified candidate for the position.  Mr. Olivis not only has been a peer of mine in the teaching profession but in the military as well.  He is retired from the military and spent a year in Iraq defending our freedoms. 
Even though your blog is "not an exercise in journalism," you are reaching and influencing people of the shoals.  Hopefully this helps you in making a decision based on the merits which helps the people who follow your blog.


Here is a link to Mr. Olivis' resume':  Anthony Olivis


Here is a link to the latest interview with Mr. Montgomery:  Bob Montgomery

We assume there will be more statements and clarifications from both candidates in the next week. As we stated yesterday, do your own research before you vote. Whoever wins works for the people. Many candidates forget that fact once they are elected. Colbert County is like many Alabama systems and desperately short on funding. Remember the big picture is made up of many little pictures. This is an important election and should be regarded as such.


While we are currently making no endorsement in the Democratic race between Troy Woodis and Lane Roland, we have been asked to make a correction. Lane Roland is now retired from the North Alabama Gas District.

Many retired gas managers continue to receive a monthly salary for consulting work. We have asked Mr. Roland if this is the case with him; when we receive an answer from the Colbert County Commission candidate, we will immediately publish it.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Revisiting Troy Woodis & Bob "Tuc" Montgomery

 Troy Woodis Sitting on Left of Local Pariah Greg Aziz

We doubt that any of us who have been voting for any number of years have not voted for the "ideal" candidate only to find out later that the man/woman was a wife beater/Satanist/whatever. It happens.

We were certainly caught off guard yesterday when we read the breaking story on Troy Woodis in The Connection:

We don't pretend to know what has precipitated Mr. Woodis' financial problems, but the drastic decline in housing sales would seem to be a likely guess. We don't know if Woodis is not providing child support because of a lack of means or a lack of common care for his children. He is obviously funding his campaign for the Colbert County Commission. That's not very good prioritizing.

That brings us back to his opponent Lane Roland. Roland may work as manager of the Madison office of the North Alabama Gas District, but the main office is in Muscle Shoals. Would he vote on issues concerning natural gas in Colbert County? Many issues would involve gas service peripherally; would he vote on those if the public didn't realize this?

These are the issues. We are not going to endorse anyone in this particular Democratic race. Colbert voters need to look at all the issues and look at them good. Then vote. Then keep their eyes on whoever serves them. In God we trust; all others should be reasonably suspect.


No local race has been as divisive as the one for Colbert County School Superintendent. Both candidates have run an honorable campaign, but our readers are vehement in their support of either Montgomery or Olivis. We're still receiving e-mails on this particular office/endorsement.

We'll take a second look at both candidates tomorrow. If you want to make your voice heard here, please send your thoughts now. It speaks well of both men that they have such avid supporters and have run such a clean race.


Slang? Ain't it cool? Who should use it and when? Each profession has its own patois, usually not known to the general public and often not grammatical. Should our educators use slang, at least publicly? In other words, is is really copacetic? (Yes, that was a salute to Bill Bojangles Robinson.)

We see where current Lauderdale County School Superintendent William Valentine has just announced he "trespassed" a father from any school property. Trespassed? Really? Perhaps when Dr. Valentine leaves office some incoming choppers will whisk him back to his crib where he can ride the scan machine for more popo talk. From Merriam-Webster:

a : a violation of moral or social ethics : transgression; especially : sin b : an unwarranted infringement
a : an unlawful act committed on the person, property, or rights of another; especially : a wrongful entry on real property b : the legal action for injuries resulting from trespass.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Jeff Barksdale More Qualified? We Doubt It...

 Anita Morgan Scott

Does Red Bay attorney Jeff Barksdale know more about the circuit court clerk's office than Franklin County Clerk Anita Scott? Hmmmm. He tells us he's more qualified. We would certainly agree he's more qualified to set up a family trust or defend a murder suspect. We doubt that Barksdale predicted he would desire the office of Franklin County Circuit Court Clerk when he set up law practice in 2008.

It's a sad fact, but Red Bay attorneys don't make a Los Angeles salary. It's probably very safe to say Mr. Barksdale's salary varies from month to month--not that good a thing for someone attempting to support a young family.

However, we're going with Mrs. Scott's thirty years of courthouse experience and endorsing her for the Democratic nomination. Her photograph doesn't depict her as being quite as close to death's door as Barksdale has insinuated, and her experience seems a much more prudent bet than a nebulous statement about bringing in some unidentified new electronic equipment. We weren't aware Franklin County had the money in its budget to purchase a new wastebasket.


Finishing off Colbert County, Jimmie Gardiner is our choice for the Dem. in District 3. District 6 has generated a great deal of mail for each commission candidate, but neither has a dramatic edge over the other in any area. We suggest you thoroughly research David Isom and Charlie Hovater and then vote. Colbert County would do well with either one.


A reader has asked us if 11 years experience in the legal field really trumps four. Obviously, each case is different, but we would ask the reader which surgeon he would prefer to remove his gallbladder...


Monday, March 5, 2012

Daniel Rosser is the Man/Parole Protest

Daniel Rosser J.D.

Long time Colbert County Probate Judge Tommy Crosslin is retiring. Races for such seats are always interesting, and we've been surprised that more candidates didn't turn out for this position. Attorneys Daniel Rosser and Jenna Brooks Smith are both seeking the Democratic nomination.

Is one superior to the other? Yes and no. We've carefully looked at the resumes of each and they are surprisingly equal...except in one area: experience. Mrs. Smith could still be called wet behind the ears. That's not an insult; it's a simple fact.

Daniel Rosser is hardly elderly, but he has had enough experience that he should make the county one of the best probate judges in modern history. We sincerely hope Mrs. Smith will continue with her political aspirations and that we'll be seeing her on a ballot in the future.


Darwin Scott Terry, who hanged himself in the Leighton jail late Saturday night, was serving his sentence for drug possession in the community corrections program and would have been released on December 2, 2012, barring new charges. The Lawrence County man had previously served time for theft and forgery involving family members.


Jeffrey Noel Rickard will soon have a parole hearing. Rickard should serve his sentence day for day. Why? He raped and sexually tortured a four year-old girl with a hammer. Real nice guy, huh? You may protest Rickard by contacting:

The Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles
301 South Ripley Street
PO Box 302405
Montgomery, Al 36130-2405
Telephone:  (334) 353-7771, 353-8067
FAX:  (334) 242-1809
TDD:  (334)242-0110
Re: Jeffrey Noel Rickard, AIS#189728


Sunday, March 4, 2012

It's Sunday; Let's Take Out the Trash

Trash. Not a nice word? Well, it's much better than one we could use here. Just what is trash?

Trash is the person who shot Blackie Carton full of buckshot and left him to die. (Thank God Blackie's doing much better.)

Trash is the man who shot and killed a neighbor's cat because he had wandered onto his property.

Trash is the man who throttled Amanda Taylor to death and then dismembered her body.

Trash is the man who claims he had sex with a four year-old girl because she seduced him.

Trash is the man who had his teacher/girl friend get his own sister drunk so he could have sex with her.

Trash is the man who just loves to say he's innocent of rape because a jury acquitted him of the crime but fails to mention the Alabama Board of Education found him guilty of that heinous act.

In case anyone objects to number one or two, they may be "legally" correct. Why? They're not crimes of moral turpitude. Just what are crimes of moral turpitude? Arson, kidnapping, assault, rape, murder--nothing less and nothing more. Oh, various attorneys general can add to the list to impress ignorant voters, but it's still comparable to saying "pregnant man." Some facts of life can't be changed.


It's election year and that means our critics come out of the woodwork. So now a few disclaimers:

* We are not related to anyone running in Lauderdale, Colbert, or Franklin Counties (that we know of).

* We are not associated with the ShoalsInsider, The Connection, or The Quad-Cities Daily or anyone who works with these publications. We do have an advertising co-op agreement with The Connection. That does not mean we support their opinions or they ours.

* Just FYI, this is a blog. A forum, formerly called a bulletin board, is an internet fixture where members exchange information and/or nasty comebacks. An Internet magazine is similar to a printed magazine and offers various news stories laid out in attractive form. The Shoalanda Group publishes four blogs and nothing more at this time.


Comments? Yes, you have to register. You may call yourself the King of Siam, but you must register. Why? Let's consider this scenario:

Anonymous: Ronald Weems is the scum of the earth.
Anonymous: Ronald Weems is a misunderstood fatherless child.
Anonymous: I agree with Anonymous.
Anonymous: Anonymous is crazy.

Now, do you understand why one must register to comment. Under the old system, one could have just keyed in a name, even something as short as Al, taking about two seconds, but since commenters refused to do this, we obviously had to devise a way to make all comments understandable.

Also, one local blogger has recently mentioned comments can be edited in the Blogger program. No, they can't. If there is a way to edit or falsify comments, please e-mail us as to how this is done.


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Dr. Allen Long's Property to be New Hospital?

For months sources predicted RegionalCare's new hospital would be built on farm land near Regency Square Mall. Then rumors began to spring up that it would be built on a large parcel of land lying along Hwy 20.

Legal protests of the new facility have caused the rumor mill to gear up, but our sources in the wonderful world of RegionalCare are agreeing with them. The new regional medical center will almost certainly be built on land belonging to Allen F. Long, MD. This property is in the immediate vicinity of the old Florence Golf and County Club, now owned by the City of Florence.

Obviously, once the hospital is built, the city's property value will rise to the extreme. We say thank you to the councilmen who probably knew what was coming (and it wasn't the Chinese) and scored a tremendous coup for Florence.


Back on the election front, we endorse Stratt Byars for the Democratic nomination for Franklin County Probate Judge. None of the three Dems running is a juris doctor, but Byars has education and, from what we're told, a tremendous amount of common sense. Good luck, Stratt.

In Colbert County, we endorse Dem. Max Eady for Place 2 on the Colbert County School Board. Both candidates have worthwhile points, but Eady has more life experience and a stronger record of social involvement.


In closing, a W.C. Fields' quote (and if he didn't say it, he should have): Two things you never pick a fight with--a bulldog or someone with nothing to lose.


Friday, March 2, 2012

Keith Collier Jr, A Name to Remember

Yesterday we looked at current Lauderdale County Commissioner Fay Parker and former commissioner Ronnie Brown. Both individuals obviously sought the office in order to help the county (we hope), since the salary involved is minimal. County offices have always had a different dynamic from most city positions. Voters have often wanted one of "their own" rather than someone who would be a more efficient leader. We hope that in the 21st Century this lowest common denominator type thinking is passe'. We sincerely hope all the voters in Lauderdale County want the person with the most expertise to get the job done. Here is Keith Collier's vision for his county:

Today, County Commissioners are much more than the ‘Road Commissioners’ of the past. While we still have the important responsibility of providing safe roads and bridges, sanitary waste management, and top emergency protection, we also have to make decisions today that will stimulate our local economy and provide stability for years to come. We have to focus on bringing new industries into our area and supporting the ones that are here to help them succeed which in turn provides jobs and tax revenue to keep the economy growing. I am excited about the overwhelming support of the new commission structure by our residents. With the Commission Chairman free from the Probate Judge’s responsibilities, the Commission will have an invaluable tool in economic development for our area. I look forward to having the opportunity to promote Lauderdale County to the world, as well as work with our existing businesses to make them stronger. 

I believe that serving as an elected official is one of the greatest ways to give back to a community that means so much to me and my family. As a public servant, we should be held accountable to the citizens who put us in office. Communication is a key element of accountability. I am a strong believer in transparent government and know many residents cannot come to Commission meetings at 9 AM on Monday mornings. I will hold community meetings at convenient times throughout my district, as well as use social media and other means to communicate with our residents. Our residents deserve to know the issues and should play a big part in how we deal with them.

I will apply my Accounting skills to ensure our Citizens get the highest level of services at the lowest possible costs. My accounting background gives me a skill unique to the candidates in this race. I have an Accounting degree from UNA and over 20 years’ experience with multiple business and their needs to be successful. Lauderdale County has a budget with almost $28 million in expenses which are over $2 million higher than budgeted revenues. To ensure a strong financial future during these tough economic times, Lauderdale County needs a commissioner with financial experience.

To ensure the bright future of Lauderdale County, we must invest today in the important matters of the county. I have always believed in giving back to the community that has blessed my family and I so much. I currently serve as a deacon in my church where I work in several ministries. I also volunteer as my daughter’s elementary school PTO treasurer and Help Center Bookkeeper as well as several years’ service in youth sports and other community projects. I have served on the boards at the UNA Sportsman’s Club and Florence Lauderdale Port Authority. I am also a 1994 graduate of Leadership Shoals. I will invest my time and energy to ensure that our young people can find jobs that pay a good wage to allow them to invest themselves in our community. We cannot afford to keep losing our bright young residents to other communities where they can find better careers.

In summary, let me just say I love this area and I believe I have fresh ideas and the energy it takes to lead Lauderdale County into the next generation. As an added incentive, I have a wife of over 20 years and 3 daughters who depend on me for their future in the Shoals area and I am not going to let them down.

We are extremely happy to endorse someone of Mr. Collier's intelligence and leadership abilities for the Place 2 Democratic nomination.


The Shoals Republican Club will host Republican Lauderdale County Commission District #1 candidates William Roger Garner and B.J. Tully on Tuesday, March 6th at 7:00 p.m. at Ryan’s Family Steakhouse Restaurant on Cox Creek Parkway in Florence. A social hour will begin at 6:00 p.m. for those who would like to purchase dinner.

Each candidate will be given time to introduce themselves and speak about the important issues facing Lauderdale County and the Lauderdale County Commission. Lauderdale County Commission District #1 encompasses half of Florence and the eastern portion of Lauderdale County. The Republican Primary for Lauderdale County Commission District #1 is Tuesday, March 13th.

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