Friday, February 28, 2014

In Support of Robert "Tuc" Montgomery

In Support of Robert "Tuc" Montgomery

A Guest Blog by

A Concerned Parent

I have seen Mr. Montgomery do everything from clean toilets to entertain public figures with the utmost grace and professionalism. He was in a constant state of making improvements to the classrooms and campus as well as causing our test scores to soar. He always gave the teachers a say in the decisions that were made and many times gave the teachers credit for things he had initiated. I've seen the love the children have for him and what a wonderful role model he has been for many of them that need this so desperately. Seeing this school shine has been his goal. I've seen him discipline children with a tear in his eye only to shake their hand afterwards and tell them how loved they are. Teacher's needs were always accommodated. I've seen the love and admiration the children have for him as well as us parents. So many of his hours outside of the school day were devoted to making sure the campus shined inside & out.

Our Parents organization, the schools finances, the teachers' resources. He just simply has turned CHES into a thriving school. If a teacher didn’t have what they wanted … then they hadn’t asked for it. He has cut the grass on the weekends, shoveled gravel in the pouring rain, as well as spent many of his summers painting the school.

He has reached in and taken money out of his pocket because he was afraid a child didn’t have snack money. He has left his own family on Christmas Eve to deliver a bicycle to parents who he knew would not be able to give their own child a present on Christmas morning.

I shudder to think where our school would be today if he had not come to CHES. He has been with CHES over 10 years. Whether you are a preacher, administrator, principal or in any other type of management position you rarely last but just a few years before problems start to crop up for whatever reason….. this man has lasted for over 10 years plus. That should tell you something about his character and work ethic.

You have 3 or 4 on the campus that may have had to be reprimanded or told to step it up or possibly they weren’t given the answer they wanted to hear on a decision he had to make … it is those few that decided to band together and try to ruin his career.

You all may wonder why I support Mr Montgomery so much. It is because I have worked with the PTO/Cats Committee and also been classroom mom since the first day my oldest started school. I have a child in 5th an a child in 2nd. I have worked along side Mr. Montgomery and teachers with many things.

With all this being said us as parents want to know WHY? Why... Did our principal that does his job and an awesome job at that get removed from his job. He makes sure our Children are safe and get the education they need, our teachers are safe and get the things they need for their class rooms, Our School shines inside an out. We parents have a voice in matters. Plus Much More... SO TELL US WHY???

Editor's Note: Our mail is running four to one in support of Mr. Montgomery.


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Naming Names?

The TimesDaily is one publication that makes no secret of its love for Hispanic immigrants, yet it never fails to get their names wrong. Why? One simple memo to writers should take care of the problem...

John Jones marries Mary Smith. They soon produce little Billy. In the English speaking world, Billy would usually be called "Billy Jones." In the Spanish speaking world, Billy would be called "Billy Jones Smith" and addressed as "Mr. Jones," as well as referred to as simply "Jones" in news accounts.

We were looking at accounts of a local Hispanic pedophile in two publications. Pedro Ramirez Rocha has been arrested in Franklin County for sexually abusing a young child. One online publication called him Ramirez, while another called him Rocha. If you guessed it was the TD who named him incorrectly as Rocha you would be right.

Perhaps the TD writers aren't as cosmopolitan as its editor would like for us to think?


Sexual abuse is everywhere...unfortunately. Percentage wise, more immigrants seem to commit this crime than locals. It could obviously be just a case of these abusers being too obtuse to cover their tracks, but it could also be part of a larger culture. Something to think about...

(Lest any readers see the above item as bigoted, the age for marriage of girls in Mexico is 14 in the majority of states, and many indigenous tribes allow marriage at the first sign of puberty. Bigoted? No. Culture Clash? Definitely.)


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

"Undercover Agents" in Leighton

Okay, we promise no more jokes. We just think prostitution stings could come up with a better name for those officers making the supreme they male or female. In case you're totally lost here...

It seems Tony Logan has just led a group of ABI undercover agents into the dangerous world of Leighton/Colbert County prostitution...and beyond. The Tuscumbia chief has announced the arrests of four females and one male on misdemeanor charges related to soliciting sex. Logan went as far as to say there had been unusual activity at local hotels recently. Fill in your own joke here since we promised only the one attempt at humor. Never heard of it. We did visit so that you, gentle readers, will not have to be bothered. Only one ad seems to be local. From Muscle Shoals:

Click to Enlarge

And the murderer of Mr. Elbert Farley still walks the streets.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Faces, Feuds, & Fathers

We greatly respect our readers and always appreciate their input. Several have commented to us that the recent Sheffield Police raid on Faces Bar & Lounge on Hatch Boulevard was the result of a false report phoned in to the authorities. If this is correct, we hope the person responsible can be found and punished, not to mention having to pay damages to those who may have been injured in the subsequent melee.


Has another old feud surfaced? Two years ago we received more input on the Colbert County school system superintendent election than any other. We initially endorsed Robert Montgomery for the position, and to say that resulted in an onslaught of e-mail by Tony Olivis supporters would be putting it mildly. Then came the rebuttals for Montgomery.

Now Supt. Olivis has suspended Montgomery. We're sure there's much to this ongoing story that has not yet been told:


Next to a mother, a father is the most important person in any child's life. When he isn't there, it may have a serious negative impact. We recently commented on Blake Austin Hines, a young many who's scheduled to be tried in June in Lauderdale County for a home invasion involving an older victim. An article sent to us at the time of the crime mentioned Hines' mother. A faithful reader and friend wanted us to know that Hines' father should shoulder much of the blame for the young man's criminal bent. It seems he was rarely there for Blake and in fact set a bad example when he was present.

Fathers, you can't spend too much quality time with your children...


Monday, February 24, 2014

What Happened at "Faces?"

The first time we heard the name of Faces Bar & Lounge, it involved the alleged rape of a woman dumped on the UNA campus. Here's a brief article from PNS:

Now the name Faces is again making the local news, rumor mill, and Facebook rounds with accusations of an organized "attack" by Sheffield Police. It's not clear why the police were even called to Faces, but the patrons on the unlucky night were attending a party in honor of a local coach. When police arrived they began to use pepper spray, and many claim those innocent of any wrongdoing were caught up in the melee and even tased as they were attempting to flee.

Sheffield doesn't need any more dives/dumps, but neither does it need any more lawsuits. We'll be happy to publish any accounts of abuse.


Sunday, February 23, 2014

John Clark Burns Jr. Had Previous DUI

Jane went to a new doctor; he insisted on doing some routine tests, but one of those tests had a not so routine result. Jane had suffered a heart attack some years ago that she wasn't aware of. Had she been taking her medicine regularly, the doc asked. No. But you can bet that Jane did from that day forward. It's called a wake-up call. 

Burns' mugshot from 7/7/2013 DUI arrest

Yes, when most individuals get a wake-up call, they do just that. They wake-up, smell the coffee, and change their lifestyle. A few just don't seem to get it. They have to hit rock bottom before they change their ways. A very few never change no matter how far they fall, and their lives are extremely short.

On July 7, 2013, John Clark Burns Jr. was arrested for a DUI in Florence. It's our understanding that this case has not yet come to trial due to various delays in the municipal court process. On September 9, 2013, Burns wrecked his truck into the Darby Store building in Cypress Inn, Tennessee. First responders reported Burns was intoxicated when they removed him from the vehicle. Blood tests later confirmed that, and Burns was arrested on the charge of Vehicular Homicide. He also awaits a trial/plea in that case.

In other words, 63 days after being arrested for a DUI, John Clark Burns Jr., again drove drunk and took the life of Brittany Marie Underwood. Some readers have asked why Underwood would have gotten into Burns' truck. We're guessing that Burns was so used to the effects of alcohol on his body, he managed to present a picture of one who was under control of the situation. He apparently controlled his driving that night until he reached an extremely sharp curve on a very dark road and plowed into the shed built onto the Darby store. It's a miracle that he survived the crash and subsequent fire.

Yes, he lives and will graduate from UNA with a degree in Business Administration this spring. His future will depend upon the charges he's facing in Tennessee. Do we think he's remorseful? That's not for us to decide; nor is it cause to let him shirk the consequences of his actions.


Saturday, February 22, 2014

"On the Rocks" & the Dram Shop Act

On the Rocks is what many would call a local pub. It occupies prime property on North Court Street in a building that for many years housed the Davis Dress Shop. Look closely at the the Facebook pic of OTR and you can still see the Davis name imprinted on tiles at the entrance. OTR has lasted longer than many such establishments do in the fickle world of passe' if it happened over 24 hours ago.

Should, or perhaps more to the point, can OTR be held responsible in part for the death of Brittany Underwood? This is what the law states:

1.  the sale of alcohol was contrary to law;
2.  the sale of the alcohol was the cause of the intoxication; and
3.  the plaintiff’s injuries were proximately caused by the intoxication.

Those present on the night of the accident have stated Burns was intoxicated when he left the bar; however, one problem for William Hovater may be in proving John Clark Burns Jr. didn't consume more or most of the intoxicating alcohol after he left OTR. The telling word in interpretation of the law is "known alcoholic." Was Burns an alcoholic? Hovater's comment concerning the young man's history would seem to indicate that will be a lynchpin in the case. 

For those who think OTR employees should not be legally considered nannies, the fact remains that it's currently the law and has been for decades. Just because we don't like a law does not make us exempt from it.

Is five million dollars an outrageous amount in this case? We're guessing this amount is an estimate of the projected earnings of Underwood had she lived a normal lifespan. Alabama law also provides for punitive damages, and juries have been known to award much more than the original amount asked. Liquor liability insurance in Alabama runs about $16.00 per 1K in alcohol sales. Let's hope OTR has a good policy.

We should also note that under this law, Burns' family may also sue OTR. Stay tuned...


Another take on it from our friend OB: No Winners


Friday, February 21, 2014

He's Graduating/She's Still Dead

(John Clark Burns Jr.) was a regular there and we feel like employees of the business knew his history.-- William Hovater

Deep pockets. If you're not familiar with that little bit of legal slang, it means you sue the person/entity with the most money. Apparently in the case of the death of Brittany Marie Underwood, this would be the downtown Florence bar "On the Rocks." Thursday, Underwood's parents brought suit against OTR for five million. We're going to guess that John Clark Burns Jr.'s insurance company is also a prime target for a suit; however, we've not heard of one being filed as yet.

Since September, we've had several readers inquire about Burns' condition (he was also injured in the September 9th Cypress Inn, Tennessee, crash). We've learned that Burns will be graduating from UNA with a degree in business administration come this May. It's safe to infer that Burns is getting on with his life.


Will Underwood's family definitely sue Burns? That we can't answer. We do know that those who contacted us after the young woman's death had nothing but praise for Burns, painted him as a victim, and accused this blog of lying about alcohol being a factor in their relative's death...and all after the State of Tennessee had already issued an arrest warrant for Burns on charges of vehicular homicide.

OTR employees may have shown extremely poor judgment in serving Burns, but it's nevertheless John Clark Burns Jr.s' decision to drink and drive that took the life of Brittany Underwood.


Will the Underwood family win their lawsuit? They've demanded a jury trial; we predict they'll win. Then what of OTR? Over 20 years ago, a similar suit put a downtown Florence restaurant out of business. Let's hope OTR has some very good liability insurance.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Legal Updates

The attorney for Blake Austin Hines has dropped his motion to seek juvenile offender status for the accused home invader. Hines will be tried for the crimes of robbery and assault in June. Hines, who's currently free on 60K bond, maintains three unknown suspects stole his vehicle to commit the crimes.


The case against former City of Rogersville employees suspected of manipulating funds from municipal court was postponed from the last grand jury in Lauderdale County. It's now scheduled to be presented on February 26th.


Rogersville isn't the only local entity currently having problems with missing money. Let's hope the new sheriff rides into town on a white horse with an accountant close behind.


It's now been three years since Jason Dewayne Green was arrested for the shooting of his girlfriend Shay Ledlow. His trial has been postponed numerous times, and Green has been sighted at local parties and even in Tunica. Ahh, the result of delays caused by proration?


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Juvenile Status for Blake Austin Hines?

All Cleaned Up for Court?

Remember Blake Austin Hines? If you don't, here's our previous blog on this outstanding citizen:

So, we have young Mr. Hines (he's now 19) who got out of a state juvenile facility on February 18th of last year and then within five weeks of his freedom not only plans a home invasion type burglary, roughs up the home's 78 year-old owner in the process, and here's the kicker...

It seems that Hines' attorney has scheduled a hearing tomorrow to ask for youthful offender status for his client. We're going to go out on a limb and predict that Hines' request will not be honored, but we're also going to give a great big "brass band" award to his attorney for even requesting that status.

Who wants to bet that Hines' lawyer is court appointed and the citizens of Lauderdale County are footing the bill? If that's the case, where did Mommie Dearest come up with the 60K bail money for her darling son?


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Kudos to Robin Wade

After our blog on the "Phil Campbell table," we received this from local furniture artist Robin Wade:

So sorry for confusion (that I caused!). Please let me clarify a bit. Last week, I stopped by the Rosenbaum staging area to borrow the table for the weekend's Museum of Alabama grand opening ceremony. When I asked Libby Watts Jordan if I could "borrow it" for the weekend. She said no (joking) because it had been well received. 

One more note; The Phil Campbell table is not a "collection". I made it (and one other smaller table) from a downed tree from the that devastated the small community of Phil Campbell. I promised the mayor back two years ago, that I would make a table from it and donate 100% of proceeds to benefit the community (actually the $ will help pay for a movie that is being made presently. The movie's goal is to bring a second round of attention, fund raising efforts as well as a hope for industry, that would also benefit Phil Campbell tremendously.) Libby Jordan is quite supportive of the fund raising effort for Phil Campbell. She actually was doing the town of Phil Campbell a favor in displaying it.

btw: Saturday during the Museum of Alabama grand opening ceremonies, the governor and his entourage stopped by, seemed quite impressed with the table, the story, and the plight of Phil Campbell (which he was quite aware of).

Again, so sorry for my confusing blog post. I'll try to be more careful in the future. So, in summary, no feud, no fight over the location of a piece of a "line" of furniture for sale. Only a few locals who love our local community, are so proud of the wonderful direction and positive vibes and creativity everywhere, and are trying to help one of our neighboring communities out in our own way.

We're just disappointed that there isn't an actual Phil Campbell line. Perhaps Robin will start one? Congrats to Robin on a successful showing in Montgomery!

Also, apologies for not linking his business site: Robin Wade


Monday, February 17, 2014

A Feud? It's Good Publicity

Example of a Robin Wade Bench

Robin Wade is a local furniture designer. While Wade's style could be considered primitive (it follows the natural flow of the wood), it's extremely well made and not at all cheap. Part of Mr. Wade's line consists of furniture reclaimed from the ruins of Phil Campbell. This is good for Phil Campbell, good for the Shoals, and good for Wade.

It seems that one table from the Phil Campbell collection was lent to the staging area for the Rosenbaum home. We're not sure whose idea this was originally, since Wade's furniture has little connection to the smooth Usonian lines created by Frank Lloyd Wright. Nevertheless, the loan of such functional art is good publicity for both Wade and the City of Florence.

Several readers have contacted us about an alleged feud that has now arisen between Wade and Libby Jordan, curator of the Rosenbaum Home. Wade wanted his table back to lend to a larger museum in Montgomery. Why was this a problem? We're not sure, but Wade has publicly commented that he had to fight to get it back.

Hmmmm. We would assume that Mr. Wade would have enough business savvy not to lend any of his high end pieces without some legal document spelling out the details. The fight makes an interesting piece of fluff for the water cooler crowd and gets Wade's name out there. We're not sure what it does for the City of Florence and the Rosenbaum Home...


Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Politician's Misplaced Revenge

Since we began our blog over five years ago, we've had a constantly changing lineup of contributors. Two moved away, three began work at another publication, one left due to what may have been seen as a conflict of interest with her job, and one disappeared into the wilds of Cherokee never to be heard from again. We never knew the name of the latter writer and hope that he/she is doing well wherever life has taken them.

Not all these writers contributed to the political segment of our blogging group, and certainly not all of them should be held accountable for the political opinions expressed here; however, it seems at least some have been...and very unfairly so. It's no secret that at one point there were what we called rogue blogs which published half-truths...and even complete untruths...about some who have toiled here with us. We've hoped any who saw these fabrications just considered the source.

Two or three of our former writers were singled out with a concoction of stories which had at best only a 5% basis in reality...and a very distant reality at that. We knew who published and contributed to these blogs and were not really all that surprised at the attacks. Our regret was that innocent friends were dragged into these people's hate fest.

Apparently we were wrong, at least to a degree. No, it wasn't the originators of the blog who concocted most of these tales, but according to an extremely reliable source, it was a local politician. This pol was always noted for his/her vindictiveness and when we endorsed an opponent, he/she fought back in the most dirty way possible. We're happy to say that person didn't win re-election.

It also seems that those this former elected official used to convey these lies have now turned on him/her. Will we publish what they send relating to this person's antics over the years. In a word, "No."

However, this former pol should remember that just like the case we mentioned yesterday, those who have now turned against their former ally will undoubtedly send the same reports to other local media. It's extremely sad when those who seek to serve Shoals citizens can't run on their own merits, but have to resort to the type of behavior mentioned here. It's even sadder that this politician is not the first person to behave this way.

2014 is an election year. Judge the candidates well.


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Dirty Politics & Dirty Pool

Many who toil in the local courthouses know who works for whom. As our friend walked down the hall, a second man passed him, extending a packet of papers ala a spy movie. "This is for you," he said and hurriedly walked on.

Once at home, the recipient of the paperwork looked over his gift. Copies of legal cases tumbled out of the envelope, and each one referred to the political opponent of a person for whom he worked. The most damning referenced a drug arrest from many years ago. What should he do with this gift?

We're guessing if this mysterious man presented copies of this arrest to our friend, he also presented the same to local media outlets. In the end no one did anything with the "revelations." Why?

Yes, a political candidate is fair game for microscopic inspections of his/her past life. After we looked at the paperwork, we felt the arrest was so old that it in no way presented a picture of who the candidate is at this time in his life. We also felt that someone had gone to a lot of trouble to dig up anything that could have remotely compromised the candidate. In other words, there was a personal agenda, and it could have backfired if the candidate's opponent had used it against him.

We won't go into details of who won the election. No matter who won, he/she did it on merit as the voters saw it, and that's how it should have been. Fast forward to earlier this week when we heard something extremely interesting about a former Shoals elected official.

Tomorrow: Misplaced revenge...


Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Want to send us one? Do something nice for someone else the next 365 days!

Shoalanda and Staff

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Angel Gieske Has Her Wings Clipped!

Yes, Angel Morris Gieske, wrestling fan, Rascal Town resident, and fake psychologist, has been exposed...once again. WAFF has done an in depth story on the Tennessee con artist. In case you missed the segment, you can catch it on their website or read our past articles on the woman who cared more for her personal wealth than she did the welfare of children.

It would almost be funny if Angel dearest hadn't hurt so many families. Whether she goes to prison or not, she should be the subject of numerous civil suits. We all owe Tina Berryman a debt for not resting until Angel was exposed for the fraud she is.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Billy Underwood Didn't Bail

A source who was in court during a preliminary hearing for Jeffrey Eddie, the Highland Park Baptist Church youth minister accused of sexually abusing young boys, has informed us that Colbert County attorney Billy Underwood did not ask to be replaced as Eddie's attorney. Instead, Underwood asked for assistance in presenting Eddie's defense.

Citing Bro. Jeff's lack of funds, Underwood asked Judge Chad Coker to appoint a second attorney to help with the case. It's going to be an interesting trial...


One definition of witch: Caldron stirrer. Perhaps ambulance avenger is another?


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tommy L. Oswalt

Tommy Oswalt has announced he will run for Revenue Commissioner in Colbert County, a position he currently holds. Here's his bio:

Tommy L. Oswalt was born and raised in Colbert County, Alabama. He graduated with honors in 1985 from Colbert Heights High School, and chose to enter the United States Marine Corps. While in the Marines, Tommy had numerous deployments overseas, was meritoriously promoted, and participated in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Tommy was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal for “outstanding job performance during Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield”. In 1992 he received an Honorary Discharge and returned home to Muscle Shoals after serving six years of active duty.

For 19 years, Tommy worked at a Decatur Chemical Plant, Ascend Performance Materials (formerly known as Solutia, and before that, Monsanto) with his last position being a Night Shift Operations Supervisor, where his over saw 3 production departments. During his time there he also served as Nylon Intermediates Safety Coordinator, Nylon Intermediates Hiring Manager, and he coordinated the payroll for Nylon Intermediates. In 1998, while still at Solutia, Tommy pursued his Real Estate license and worked at Century 21 part time. In 2004, Tommy obtained his property and casualty license and worked with Farmers Insurance part time.

In 2009, Tommy and Luisa decided to take a chance and open a business in Muscle Shoals. They opened a sandwich/coffee shop and revived an old name of a well loved restaurant, the “Trojan House.”

After years of commuting to Decatur, the opportunity presented itself to be closer to home; Tommy accepted a job with Sara Lee of Florence as a 2nd Shift Production Supervisor were he oversee 47 employees, on two production lines. Last year Sara Lee changed its name to Hillshire Brands.

While he still works at Hillshire full time he is able to also work at the sandwich shop. This has been a great opportunity to serve the community, meet new people and make many new friends. It’s “family owned” and therefore allowing Tommy and his wife to work alongside each other, with their older children and some great employees, too.

In August 2013, Governor Bentley appointed Tommy to the position of Revenue Commissioner of Colbert County. This was a humbling honor and he looks forward with the opportunity to serve the citizens of Colbert County. In the first two months of office, Tommy had the tax roll and the Revenue Commissioners budget that needed to be completed. The tax roll, with the help of the great employees of the office, was ran with no issues. Tommy was also able to review the Budget, and reduce it by 20%. This reduction his budget was vital in helping the Colbert County Commission with the much needed funds to give the employees of Colbert County a 2 ½% pay raise.

Tommy and his wife have 4 wonderful children, ages 21, 18, 15 & 10. He and his family are active members of their church, their church youth group and the Hispanic ministry.

Tommy has always led an active life and in previous years has run for office twice. He came very close both times, when running against an incumbent for the county commission seat (once in District 2, and due to redrawing of the district lines, once in District 5).

In past years he’s been involved with the Red Cross as a disaster relief action team member. In addition to that, he’s served on the Muscle Shoals Planning Board and the Muscle Shoals Civil Service Board. He’s currently a member of the Colbert County Republicans Executive committee, where he currently serves as Treasurer, and has done so for the last 4 years. He is also a member of the Association of Alabama Tax Administrators.


We are currently updating the data program that runs the tax roll and assessing. This conversion will bring us into the 21 Century. It will save time and make the office more efficient. Within two months in office, We reduced the Revenue Commissioner’s budget by 20%. We also expanded the job classifications for each department. We have developed a progressive career path that the employees can grow into.


It's early in the game yet, but we expect to begin making endorsements later in the spring.


Monday, February 10, 2014

Alabama DHR and Your Credit

Below is a letter written by our friend Mark Davis to three Alabama legislators. The letter is long, but extremely interesting:

The Consumer Credit Reporting of Purported Child Support Arrears by DHR is not Codified by Alabama Legislature.

The DHR is acting outside the scope of Alabama law.

The Legislature never codified this issue.

It appears that the DHR is acting as a Legislative body without legal authority.

See Ala. Constitution 1901, Art. III, Section 43, “In the government of this state, except in the instances in this Constitution hereinafter expressly directed or permitted, the legislative department shall never exercise the executive and judicial powers, or either of them; the executive shall never exercise the legislative and judicial powers, or either of them; the judicial shall never exercise the legislative and executive powers, or either of them; to the end that it may be a government of laws and not of men.”

The Alabama legislature codified every aspect of Federal Title IV-D mandates on child support enforcement except for the state reporting alleged arrearages to the credit reporting bureaus.

Title IV-D requires the states to first enact state law that supports Title IV-D. It does not create federal law for the states to enforce without authority from the state legislature.

This is shown by reviewing the Alabama State Plan filed with the federal government mandated by Title IV-D, 42 USC Section 654.

Example One: The State elected NOT to enact a law requiring the use of procedures for enforcement of child support orders with respect to a child of minor parents, if the custodial parent is receiving welfare assistance under Part A of Title IV-D, that shall be enforceable, jointly and severally, against the parents of the noncustodial minor parent of such child in accordance with 42 USC 466(a)(18). See “Exhibit 1” attached hereto showing the state plan did not approve the federal mandate because "legislation did not pass".

Example Two: The State has in effect laws requiring the use of procedures for authorizing withholding, or suspension or restriction of driver's licenses, professional and occupational licenses and recreational and sporting licenses in accordance with 42 USC 466(a)(16). However, at the time the State Plan was approved the Ala. Code did not include “Sporting licenses”. The State Plan notates this fact and said “Sporting licenses” will have to be added to the list of type of licenses and will require amending Alabama's license suspension act in the 1999 session. See “Exhibit 2”

Exhibit 3 shows the State Plan Alabama filed with the federal government on reporting arrearages. The Plan indicates Alabama has procedures in place. However, this is untrue.  This can be considered felony fraud upon the federal government. See attached President Obama’s Executive Orders 13519 and 13520.

The DHR Child Support Policy and Procedures Manual on Reporting Arrearages to the Credit Bureaus.

Chapter 15 (Exhibit 4) addresses consumer credit reporting and here is the DHR legal basis:


9.7.2.a State Code

Code of Alabama 1975, as amended, Section38-10-7 allows DHR to “take appropriate action under federal and State assure that the responsible person...owing an obligation of support provide support, including...civil or criminal enforce support obligations.”

9.7.2.b Federal Regulations

The Consumer Credit Reporting is governed by the Consumer Credit Protection Act, at 15 U.S.C. Section1680 et seq. 42 U.S.C. 666(a)(7) authorizes State IV-D child support agencies to report child support arrearages to credit bureaus. It requires that states have procedures to report periodically to consumer reporting agencies the name of any noncustodial parent who is delinquent in the payment of support and the amount of overdue support owed by such parent. Procedures must ensure that reporting takes place only after the noncustodial parent has been afforded all due process required under State law, including notice and a reasonable opportunity to contest the accuracy of the information. (Emphasis Added).

Here is the full version of Ala. Code, 1975, Section 38-10-7:

“Institution of actions for enforcement of child support obligations, etc.

"(a) Whenever anyone owing the obligation of support has failed to provide support, and application is made to the department for support services as may be provided pursuant to the requirements of Title IV-D or for aid, the department, and including the district attorney when providing services for the department, may take appropriate action under this article, or any other appropriate state and federal statutes, to assure that the responsible person or persons owing the obligation of support provide support, including, but not limited to, civil or criminal actions to determine parentage or to establish, modify, or enforce support obligations. All actions to determine parentage or to establish, modify, or enforce support obligations may be brought in either the juvenile court or district court or the circuit court or appropriate federal court, and all presently existing statutes are hereby amended to provide that the juvenile courts and district courts and the circuit courts shall have the concurrent jurisdiction of actions involving parentage, desertion, nonsupport, or support.

"(b) The court making the determination of parentage, or establishing, modifying, or enforcing support, unless otherwise provided by law, shall retain jurisdiction to enforce or modify prior orders of the court."


No where in Section 38-10-7 does it expressly mention credit reporting. 38-10-7 was written and codified in the Alabama Child Support Act of 1979.

Consumer credit reporting was not mandated in Title IV-D until 1997.

There is no way the DHR can presume the Legislature intended Section 38-10-7 to replace the Legislature’s refusal to enact the 1997 Title IV-D provisions of reporting alleged arrearages to credit reporting bureaus.

It is not within the providence of the Alabama DHR to act as a legislative body. Ala. Constitution 1901, Art. III, Section 43.

Also, it is not within the providence of the DHR to presume acquiescence by the Legislature due to inaction Legislative with DHR policy of reporting alleged child support arrearages.

The Alabama Supreme Court addressed this issue in October 2013 decision of Ex parte Christopher, (1120387) ---So.3d--- (2013).

In the Christopher Court it was argued that it was presumed the legislature acquiesced to the judicial branch because the legislature had not acted in 24 years of the judicial branch mandating the payment of college education of child beyond the age of majority by divorced parents.

Christopher quoting the Ala. Constitution 1901, Art. III, Section 43 said,

“In Alabama, legislation cannot originate with the judiciary."

“Instead, "The legislative power shall be vested in a legislature, which shall consist of a senate and a house of representatives." See Ala. Constitution, rt. IV, Section 44.

"No law shall be passed except by bill...." Ala. Constitution Art. IV, Section 61.

“And no bill shall become a law unless first referred to and acted upon by a standing committee of each house. Ala. Constitution Art. IV, Section 62.

“Additionally, no bill shall become a law unless approved by a recorded majority vote in each house. Ala. Constitution Art. IV, Section 63.

“Adoption of amendments also requires a recorded majority vote. Ala. Constitution Art. IV, Section 64.

“Finally, "Every bill which shall have passed both houses of the legislature ... shall be presented to the governor" for signature. Ala. Constitution Art. V, Section 125.”

The Christopher Court goes to say,

“Courts do not make law. No law can be enacted or amended apart from the constitutionally mandated procedure, known as bicameralism and presentment. (noting the "bicameralism and presentment requirements of Art. I" of the United States Constitution).

“Nowhere in the Alabama Constitution is provision made for the judiciary to initiate legislation that then automatically becomes law when not affirmatively vetoed by the legislature within a prescribed period. This presumed lawmaking authority of the judiciary has some resemblance to the provision for a bill to become a law by gubernatorial silence. But obviously the judiciary has no power to translate itself into the shoes of the legislature and then further to clothe the legislature with a veto authority over its unauthorized enactments.”

“Any act of the legislature that does not follow the procedures required by the Constitution is, "as a law, wholly void, a mere nullity, and imposes no legal obligation on any body.". Accordingly, the legislature cannot acquiesce to a lawmaking process devised by the judiciary ex cathedra that has no authorization in the Constitution." The power to legislate rests exclusively with the legislature ... [which] cannot delegate that power." Opinion of the Justices No. 145, 263 Ala. 153, 155, 81 So. 2d 697, 698-99 (1955) (some citations omitted)”).

The above holds true the DHR cannot create legislation. The DHR is acting without any legal authority on this issue.

It is federal criminal fraud – a felony - to provide false documentation to the Federal government for federal incentive funding.

I have always fully supported my only child out of love for her.

Since August 2013, the DHR is reporting inaccurate and false, and misleading child support arrearages on my consumer credit bureau reports. Although in June 2013 I timely requested a hearing with DHR on the issue.

The DHR notices indicate reporting will not take place until after a hearing has been held. A hearing was scheduled today, 02/03/14, but the state hearing officer from Montgomery failed to show up in Florence, Alabama.

The above is also a violation to the Federal Debt Collection Protection Act (FDCPA)

FDCPA 15 USC Section 1692(e) “prohibits debt collectors from using “any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt” as well as the use of “unfair or unconscionable means of collection.”

DHR is acting without authority granted it by the Legislature. Said Acts are harming vested liberty interest rights of thousands of Alabama parents which negatively impact children and society.


If you've been treated unfairly by DHR, we urge you to fight back...


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Return to the Sins of Franklin County

First, let's visit the Franklin County seat in Russellville; in fact, let's visit the courthouse. When last we commented on Judge Terry Dempsey, it was to lament the fact that he gave convicted killer Hershel Dale Graham only two years to serve in prison. We'll note that Graham is still appealing and has yet to serve more than two days.

However, now we're focusing on a civil trial. It's one of which we were not aware and appreciate a faithful reader for sending us the link:

Yes, the case is over two years old, but such suits are rare in Franklin County. We'll assume the software company appealed the huge judgment since there seems to be plenty of cause.


Now let's amble over to the little town of Red Bay. It seems that those city employees who work in trash collection and at the landfill are not supposed to take any of the trash home with them, no matter how wonderful. Whether this law is useful in some way or not, we'll let the readers decide. Nevertheless, it's a rule and should be followed.

One trash collector recently discovered a very usable train case placed on the street with other refuse. He promptly took it to a family member who was in need of one for short trips. Sadly, Murphy and his law were on hand, and the owner of the train case called to say the item was placed in the refuse pile by mistake.

The employee who took the case admitted it and was suspended for ten days. Not only was the employee who took the case suspended, a second employee who was aware of the incident was also suspended. Besides the ten-day suspension, the two workers were placed on six-months probation.

Does the punishment fit the crime? What would we have done in the case of the abandoned case? It would seem to us a simple write-up at most would have been sufficient. A verbal warning would have been even more fitting. We doubt either trash collector easily afforded ten days with no pay.

It's been suggested that Red Bay Councilman Mike Stockton is the ideal person to look into reducing the punishment of these two city employees...


Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Cafe' Story with Names Removed

If you haven't seen it, you've probably heard about it. It's making the rounds, and several readers have asked us about it. We're going to publish it here with all names removed. If it's true, the owner of the local eatery is in mucho trouble. If it isn't true, the employee should be in similar hot water. The story:
So I would just like to bring something to everyone in the Shoals areas attention. This is one of my dear friends. She worked for XXXXX for almost 5 years. She was dating a guy and their relationship became toxic. When this photo was taken it was the last straw for her and he moved out. She contacted police to file the report and went on to pursue a PFA. She wasn't sure how it would work out considering she worked with this abusive guy. When she contacted her boss he told her verbatim
"If you get a PFA on one of my best workers your job will be the one that suffers the consequences." 

She couldn't fathom loosing the job she had for years and had grown to love. She put the PFA on hold and tried to deal with working with this monster. The owner XXXXX told her that if anyone asked about her black eye she was to not talk about or tell anyone what happened. He also told her to not even look at the guy when they worked in the same building or she would lose her job. In having to work him he would harass her and was able to say whatever he wanted to and suffer no consequences for his actions. He had posted a status on his FB page degrading my friend and talking as badly about someone as possible. She was tired and wore out from day to day being put down. 

She then decided to post a status of her own with this picture in it. That same day this past week she was called in early to work. When she arrived she was fired. When asked why the owner XXXX explained because he had told her to not talk about it and she went against him and did it anyways. My personal opinion on this is that is happened out of work and I'm trying to figure out where he feels this is any of his business. The owner said to my friend that she was just 'crazy' because he had heard about all of her and the abusive ones arguments and I guess he just decided that siding with the abusive one was a good idea because its his 'best' employee. 

My friend felt this needed to be known and I was more than happy to help get this out there. I know someone who currently works there who personally feels a higher level of negativity against domestic violence than even I do. So feel free to share and please get the word out. She loved her job so much she didn't let herself be a victim and worked with her abuser every day to save it. That says more than anything. Being a victim of domestic violence is bad enough without losing your job and here's to never eating at XXXXX! Will never spend another penny in a restaurant owned by a man that supports domestic violence!!!


Friday, February 7, 2014

Bro Jeff: Smart Like a Fox

We previously stated before reading the arrest warrant for Jeffrey Dale Eddie that he could serve up to 20 years for his crimes. After reading the charges and conferring with our resident attorney, we see that would be a stretch.

Eddie now faces 36 charges of sexual abuse of a minor over the age of 12, a Class B felony. The maximum punishment for this crime is one year on each count, usually served concurrently. He also faces two charges of possession of child pornography for which the maximum punishment is 10 years, but is usually reserved for repeat offenders. If convicted, Eddie will certainly have to register as a sex offender, but unless the judge demands consecutive sentencing, Eddie could serve much less time than most of us would have hoped for.

Why? It seems the sexual abuse did not involve sodomy (oral sex) until Eddie's victim turned 12. If Eddie had been guilty of this crime with a child under 12, he would have been charged with the crime in the first degree. Isn't that convenient?

No, we don't think this was any accident of dates and whims. We think Eddie knew exactly what he was doing. A reader has told us Eddie's Facebook page stated a man's character is what he does when no one is looking. Well...we certainly all know what Eddie's true character is now, don't we?


Muscle Shoals Police have stated they believe additional charges will be filed against the one-time Baptist youth minister. If so, it could be a whole new ball game.


Thursday, February 6, 2014

What the Janitor Saw...

There usually isn't much that goes on in dark, dank basements that janitors don't know about, and it would seem that's true for the Highland Park Baptist Church. Sources say when the official Alabama Bureau of Investigation report is made public at Jeffrey Eddie's trial (or before), there will be some interesting testimony from a former janitor at the Muscle Shoals church. Yes, that's former janitor since he was fired shortly after making the accusations against Bro. Jeff.

Eddie has admitted his abuse of the young underage male occurred in the electrical room in the basement of the church building. Scripture concerning hiding one's sins comes to mind.


Tomorrow we'll look at Bro. Jeff's possible future down south.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Who Shot Bro. Jeff Down?

Jeff Eddie Praying with Muscle Shoals High Students

Yesterday PNS had an article which theorized that Jeff Eddie's wife Melissa may have turned him in. Now the article has disappeared. Whether Eddie's wife turned him in or not, she obviously knew before his arrest what was coming. We can only imagine the despair Eddie has caused not only his primary victims, but his wife and two sons as well.

We have on very rare occassions read of a sexual abuser seeking help. Eddie is an intelligent man and one who professed to follow Christ. Yet he continued down the road of scum and degradation. We're not sure if Eddie can be sentenced to more than 20 years or not. If found guilty, a judge can rule his sentences are to be served consectively. Let's hope that's what happens.


Since Watergate, it's been popular to ask who knew what and when did they first know it. If you've viewed the photos on Eddie's Facebook pages, you've seen all the shots of the youth minister and his charges. Yet there are none of Eddie's wife with the groups. We're going to assume Bro. Jeff's crimes fell into the category of a forest made invisible by the trees of his outward mantle of care and concern.


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The End of Innocence...and a Marriage

Another minister, a man who professed to serve God, has been in the news this week--and not in any good way. Jeff Eddie is the second Colbert County minister this year to face sex abuse charges. In jail, with little or no chance of making bail, Eddie has seen his wife take charge of her life:

We say good for her. Psychiatrists say "normal" sex addictions can be cured, but not pedophilia. Be vigilant. They're here and they don't care whom they hurt as long as they receive their pleasure. Don't let them win.


Monday, February 3, 2014

Employment Rumors? UPDATE!

We recently profiled Patrick Smith, the athletic director for Tuscumbia Schools. His link has been removed from the school board website, but according to a source in the school system, while Tuscumbia may have canned their football coach, Smith remains on duty.

We've also been asked about Mike Goens at the TimesDaily. Apparently Mike has been absent from his column for two weeks. His name remains on the TD website. While we don't always agree with Mike's ultra liberal views, he's one of the few great writers our local rag has. We assume he's taking a well deserved few weeks off...or at the other end of the event spectrum, perhaps he has the flu. Whatever the reason for his absence, we hope he's back soon.

The third rumor circulating in the Shoals involves a much darker issue. A youth minister at a large Colbert County Baptist church is said to have been let go after sexual contact with a child. We can only say that his name has been removed from the church's website. While we hope the tale isn't true, sadly we hear the same stories over and over. With old cases being examined in Russellville and Sheffield, it's entirely possible a victim has come forward in this case.

To anyone who has been sexually abused, it's not too late. Please come forward now and get the waste of oxygen off the street.


It's official: Jeff Eddie of Highland Park Baptist arrested!


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Is "Communications" Equivalent to "Cultural?"

We've been told that Florence-Lauderdale Tourism has hired a replacement for Libby Watts Jordan who recently became the curator of the Rosenbaum Home. We're publishing the press release in its entirety, but cannot seem to find the word "cultural" in it anywhere:

FLORENCE, AL – Longtime tourism public relations professional Georgia Carter Turner has joined the Florence/Lauderdale Tourism staff as Communications Manager. She will work with local, state, regional and international media to promote Florence and the entire Shoals area’s tourism product.

“We’re thrilled to have Georgia back in Florence,” said Debbie Wilson, Executive Director of Florence/Lauderdale Tourism. “Her experience in tourism public relations, marketing and administration will be a huge asset to our office.”

Turner has worked in the tourism industry since 1985. She started her tourism career as the marketing representative for the Alabama Mountain Lakes Association, the regional tourism organization for the 16 northernmost counties in the state.

She moved to Daytona Beach, Florida in 1988 where she worked with four busy oceanfront hotels and at the Daytona Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau as their public relations director, promoting events such as Bike Week, Biketoberfest and the Daytona 500.

Alabama called her back to be the Executive Director of the Alabama Mountain Lakes Association from 1994-2000. From 2000-2010 she owned her own tourism public relations agency, Georgia Turner Group. The company’s specialty was media tours throughout the Southeast, including the Shoals Area. In late 2010 she rejoined the Daytona Beach Area CVB – this time as their Director of Specialized Markets, where her focus was tourism events, the Film Office and the arts, culture and heritage segment of the industry.

For the past two years she has served as the Vice President of Tourism Development for the Flagler County (Florida) Chamber of Commerce. In that role, she worked closely with the tourism community to reposition the county’s tourism efforts under the new brand of Palm Coast & the Flagler Beaches.

A native of Sheffield, Alabama, Turner received her degree in journalism from Auburn University and spent her early career as a newspaper reporter at the TimesDaily in Florence as well as an assistant editor for an airline magazine in Atlanta.

Named Tourism Professional of the Year in Alabama in 2000, she is an Associate member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and has served as both Secretary and Chair of the Southeast Tourism Society (STS). She was also an instructor at the STS Marketing College for many years.


Saturday, February 1, 2014

It's a Little Too Quiet... Franklin County. The TimesDaily usually sallies forth with an article of rebuttal after the state makes any legal pronouncements concerning immigration, but it has remained strangely quiet about the evolving federal plan to bring both legal and illegal immigrants into the wonderful world of citizenship. While not yet complete, the plan is hardly an illegal's dream.

As it stands now, the initial fee for filing an application for citizenship is just $680.00. In future, it will be $2,680.00. Welcome to the United States of Taxation.

Perhaps local illegals could find the federal equivalent of Kendra Herring?