Friday, October 31, 2014

Trick or Treat: 2014 Elections




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

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

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

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Some Robin Ellis for ya:




Shoalanda

Thursday, October 30, 2014

More Endorsements/Question from Bailey


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

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

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

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

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From a reader:


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

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

Thanks for your input.

*****





Shoalanda

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Thoughts on Andrews, Bedford, & More


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

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

From Mr. Andrews:

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


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

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

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

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All Rick Baker...no CGI:





Shoalanda

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Reader Looks at Rick Singleton's Ad


From a reader on the Lauderdale race for sheriff:

A Few Things To Consider

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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Shoalanda

Monday, October 27, 2014

Phil Andrews' Policy Statement/Shannon Oliver


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*****

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

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


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

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Shoalanda

Sunday, October 26, 2014

(An Edited) View from a Reader on Two Races


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

Lauderdale Sheriff race:

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

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

Colbert Sheriff race:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Shoalanda

Saturday, October 25, 2014

To Link or Not to Link?/Screen Names?


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

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

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

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

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

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

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Shoalanda

Friday, October 24, 2014

Bad Boy Updates


(3) Any person who knowingly sells, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, four grams or more of any morphine, opium, or any salt, isomer, or salt of an isomer thereof, including heroin, as described in Section 20-2-23(2) or Section 20-2-25(1)a., or four grams or more of any mixture containing any such substance, is guilty of a felony, which felony shall be known as "trafficking in illegal drugs." If the quantity involved:
a. Is four grams or more, but less than 14 grams, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of three calendar years and to pay a fine of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).
- See more at: http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/alcode/13A/12/5/3/13A-12-231#sthash.ap70V1Ua.dpuf

We were unaware that 14 grams of heroin made one the North Alabama kingpin, but apparently it does.


The Alabama Code states:

Click to Enlarge

Now it would seem the most pertinent question is how much was he caught with in Florence during his last arrest. More than 14 grams and it's a mandatory 10 years.

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Andrew Daniel Scott has been moved to Draper Correctional Facility in Elmore County. This answers at least one of the questions from readers. Hottie Scottie is still accruing good time, so he's still trouble free. Let's hope this is the turn-around for him.

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We're always surprised at the misinformation disseminated by local voters. First, both Florence and Lexington are in Lauderdale County. Someone who lives in Lexington does indeed live in "the county," but so does one who lives in Florence.

Would a sheriff who lives in Florence police only Florence? Unless there's a terrorist attack, we doubt he'll do any "policing" of Florence. Florence has its own police department...just as Lexington does. The difference is that Lexington and similar small towns do call on the sheriff's office for assistance from time to time. If you're convinced Rick Singleton won't assist "the county," why are you convinced Hendershot, who was not born in Lauderdale County as Rick was, would do better? Logic isn't everyone's strong point...

We'll just inject here that we've been accused of being one of Augie's ex-wives. No. Never met Augie. We're sure he's a great person, but we feel Rick Singleton will make the better sheriff.

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Shoalanda

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Deborah Kimbrough & Falacious Thinking on Plea Bargains


When a family is torn apart by a murder, many don't want to go to trial. They allow the perp to accept a plea. Unfortunately, it seems many don't understand this plea.

The family of Sonny Kimbrough is protesting the parole of his killer, his wife Deborah. We agree with them; however, they seem to think she agreed to serve 20 years. What she agreed to was a 20 year sentence. Such a sentence accrues no good time, but is eligible for parole hearings. That doesn't mean she will make parole after serving not quite seven years of her sentence. Kimbrough is currently housed in a Birmingham work release facility with a release date of December 9, 2027.

Only Life Without sentences and certain drug convictions do not allow for parole. If a victim's family is concerned about this, they might do well to continue with a trial. It's a crap shoot, but the killer just might wind up doing more time if that is what they hope for.

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We had some similar questions about Charles O'Kelley. He, along with Shaun Shapley and probably countless others in the state, agreed to a plea bargain. Both O'Kelley and Shapley received 25 year sentences for murder, and in Shapley's case an unprosecuted rape. Now both have attempted to have their pleas negated. So far the justice system has not seen fit to honor their requests. Attempting to rescind a plea bargain and attempting to secure a parole are two entirely different animals.

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We're convinced that politics bring out the worst in people. We want to commend the supporters of Rick Singleton for not bombarding us and other sites with ramblings that border on threats. Our endorsement of Rick was 100% on his merit. Our endorsement of Frank Williamson was based on choosing him as the lesser of two evils and as one who supports the Colbert Animal Shelter to the fullest.

We are still happy to publish rebuttals, but when each post becomes more libelous about the candidates and their families and even individuals not connected to the election in any way, we say enough. If you can't play nice, you can't play here.

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Shoalanda

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Comments on Ex-Wives & Local Cyber Sites


No, we do not accept comments on ex-wives who were never charged with theft...or anything else.They are not public personages. The fact that one who supports a certain candidate would expect us to is very telling. Yes, we did publish a question about a theft in Lexington that was not investigated. In hind sight, we would have done better to edit our reader's guest commentary. Wives and children of candidates should be off limits--period, unless the candidate himself is involved.

To the reader who commented on this crime, you didn't even get the job right and their was no arrest much less conviction. The 40K is gone. Period. There's nothing anyone can do about it. And, no, we do not know her personally. In fact we've never met the candidate or any of his ex-wives that we are aware of.

That brings us to censorship. As you've recently seen on OB's Corner, some local bloggers censor comments. We do not unless they're libelous, etc. That does not mean that we will put up with abuse of candidate's ex-wives or other family.

To the Hendershot supporter who has attempted to do this, it's called an ad hominem attack. In other words, if you can't find fault with their logic, attack their character. As we said above, it's very telling; we have not seen this tactic in the Singleton camp.

*****

County commission? We're not going to make any recommendations in Lauderdale. The current commission is hindered by lack of home rule, so inaction is not always the commissioners' fault.

We suggest our readers research each candidate. Many of our friends and readers are supporting Danny Pettus. While we are not giving an endorsement, we do know that one could not find a more apt or honest person for the job.

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Shoalanda

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Ex-Wives Club/We're Six!


Most people understand that ex-spouses don't have kind words for their former partners. That's why anyone should take comments from them with at least some wariness. Ex-wives have come into play here since we have a candidate for Lauderdale Sheriff running on the "family values" platform--a man who admits to four marriages and who had a recorded number of five marriages on some legal documents. Yes, we have copies of e-mails where Augie disparages his former wives...either fairly or unfairly, but we do think most honorable men would not accuse someone they once loved enough to marry of the "crimes" he has listed.

Be that as it may, we also have a candidate in Colbert County who has been married four times. This candidate has not run on any trumped up family values platform. No story there...or is there?

Maybe his opponent thought there might be and decided to call an ex-wife unsolicited? Wonder if he got cussed out?

*****

A supporter of Hendershot has asked about the bloggers here. First, we're not running for office or claiming things that are not true, but we'll answer anyway. Of the five of us, only one has been married more than once--he's been married twice. That's his business; we don't believe he took his divorce lightly.

*****

YES! We're six years old as of yesterday. Thanks to all our readers for your support, both in the past and the future. Never hesitate to contact us.

*****



Shoalanda, J. Redmond, D.K., Cherry, & Bailey

Monday, October 20, 2014

Looking Closely at Augie Hendershot's Ad


We're always amazed at what FB picks up as our "logo." Yesterday it picked up an ad for Augie Hendershot that OB's Corner was featuring. So...we read the ad; let's look at it:

1. 25 years of leadership? How many years has he worked? Did he start out as a leader?

2. Child Death Review Board? He may have been this area's rep at one time, but he's not listed on their list now.

3. Tested and trusted? Who trusts him? Surely not one of his four ex-wives. Tested? We have to admit that some of the citizens of Lexington would test anyone, but we doubt you can compare a town of 800 to a city of 40K.

Oh, well, it's almost Halloween. We'll just consider that ad to be FB's trick for the holiday.

*****

To those that try to comment on OB's blog and fail, send the comments here. We'll certainly publish them.

*****





Shoalanda

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Readers' Views/Update on Investigation


From a reader on Sheffield Police/City reaction to storm:

It has been reported to me that on October 13, 2014, when the tornado hit Tuscumbia, shoppers in the manager of the Dollar General store located on 6th St. in Sheffield, closed the store and FORCED shoppers OUT of the store when the tornado sirens went off.

Monday afternoon, when the storms were entering The Shoals, I saw that several Sheffield traffic lights were out.  I notified Sheffield PD of this.  I was informed by the officer taking my call that 'all of the power was out'.  I told him that he was in error, as the street lights were all still working.  This same officer informed me that 'those lights are on a generator.'  Really.......??????   

From a reader on Phil Andrews:

I've never e-mailed you before but please take a few moments to look at the Phil Andrews for Sheriff facebook page and pay special attention to the latest pictures involving his animals. The first election photo he ever took (I believe over a year ago) was of his family and 4 inside dogs which he cares for meticulously. He also has an inside cat who is not pictured. He has a pet goat that he has pictures of standing on his back and looking over his shoulder, he loves this goat as well as the 20 year old horse he keeps in his garage at night in the winter just so he doesn't get cold. There is not any more of an animal lover than Phil, the proof is in the pictures, and some of these pictures were taken several years ago. He's a very good and very honest man, you will simply not find a better person with a bigger heart. Thanks very much for taking the time to read this and look at the Phil Andrews for Sheriff facebook page.

I know that he has attended many public forums where he has addressed his plans and he's very open about them when he's asked directly, he really does care very much about the welfare of the county. I'm not a relative of his (nor am I Phil!!), I'm a police officer of over 24 years in colbert county and I'm very concerned about the wellbeing of the people in the county after this election. I know he is a well qualified man of high morals and character and I'm proud to call him a friend. Thank you for the reply and because I know you're very busy, I appreciate the time you've taken with me very much.

*****

We've had several questions on a recent death that Florence Police were looking into. Our source has been mum...as in "I have nothing new to report."

What does this mean? It could mean the investigation is closed and the death was ruled something other than homicide. We feel it means the investigation is ongoing. If it were over, why not say so?

As soon as we have any further comment, we will report it here.

*****





Shoalanda

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Truth About the MS Industries Donation!


We once commented on local candidates who mention their stance on abortion and other issues over which they have absolutely no control. Such references are smokescreens to cover more relevant issues or simply pandering to a public which usually demonstrates knee jerk reactions to these issues.

It should come as no shock to anyone that a local sheriff has no input on “Second Amendment Rights,” yet that was the name of a recent debate...a debate which was partially published on YouTube and linked by our blog yesterday. The interesting thing about this debate was that the second amendment rights of U.S. and Alabama citizens were hardly mentioned during this little stunt, a stunt we understand was orchestrated entirely by the Republican Party.

Who has input on Second Amendment rights? The federal and state court system and to a lesser degree the office of the state attorney general. No county sheriff is going to make policy concerning gun rights—he will, if honest, follow the laws that have been legislated and later interpreted by the courts.

The election of a new Colbert County Sheriff is undoubtedly the most important race in that county. Elections typically bring out the “crazies” and almost always the haters of certain candidates. We’ve received many derogatory comments about Democratic candidate Frank Williamson in the past few months...mostly from the same person. We believe the name used to send these comments is fictitious; however, that in itself would not make these allegations suspect.

The most damning of these allegations concerns Mr. Williamson taking a $500.00 contribution from MS Industries, the company that proposes to engage in tar sands mining in Colbert and Lawrence Counties. The somewhat dubious enterprise donated the same amount to both candidates; the salient question is did either candidate keep the money while stating he had returned the contribution.

We’ll inject here that MS Industries has not yet been proved to be detrimental to the environment or the economy. We believe at some point it will. The salient point is that if one or both of the candidates had kept the contribution...and correctly reported it...what was the harm? No candidate is in anyone’s pocket as long as contributions are made correctly.

Both candidates say they returned the contribution for whatever reason. Political enemies of Frank Williamson are claiming that he didn’t. That would make Williamson both a liar and a dishonest pol since he has not reported the contribution on his official state form. So is this allegation true?

A COPY OF WILLIAMSON'S LETTER:




A COPY OF CASHIER'S CHECK TO MS INDUSTIRES:



It would appear  Mr. Williamson has indeed done what he said he did. We reiterate that we would have had no problem with his taking the contribution, but we would have had a problem is he had indeed lied. It would seem Mr. Williamson is not the one who lied. Does Phil Andrews support these lies? We don't know...we still haven't heard from him.

*****

Regular readers know our policy about past crimes, etc. When one enters the public fray, they are fair game. In the past we've refused to discuss an old drug arrest for one candidate since we believed it didn't relate to the person he is today. Now we're faced with a similar dilemma.

Again, we're not going to publish this arrest. We feel others will publish the details. Having seen the arrest documents, we're only too sadly aware that many will cheer for what the person did. It's a sad world.

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Shoalanda

Friday, October 17, 2014

Tommy Oswalt/New Colbert Info?


Tommy Oswalt has been acting Revenue Commissioner for some time. He's a known and proved candidate, and Colbert County would do well to elect him to his first full term.


*****

Now, here's where we remind you that we're not perfect. Once before we have withdrawn an endorsement...and really lived to regret that since we were right on target the first time in the Olivis-Montgomery election in Colbert County.

Therefore, we're still considering what to do here, since we have some private info about a past incident in Phil Andrews earlier years. We chose not to publish it, but it did influence our endorsement. In the interest of fairness, we're publishing this video. Please feel free to comment. Translated that means if you have more info on this, PLEASE contact us via FB or our e-mail.



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Shoalanda

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Vote for Tim Melson!


No one's perfect...not even close. Most elections boil down to the least objectionable. It's not a surprise that we would endorse almost any opponent of Mike Curtis (once called "Chicken Man" by Alabama blogger King Cockfight).

However, we sincerely  believe Tim Melson has the intelligence and ethics to serve this district well. Check him out: Tim Melson.

*****

Thugs come in all shapes and sizes: It seems UNA has again made the news for athlete arrests.


We would predict since the crime is probably very low on the list of felonies (or even a possible misdemeanor depending on the value of the items), these two will get youthful offender status. We have to ask just what were these two "honor students" thinking? Will their parents let them live to reach trial or plea?

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Shoalanda

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Speaking of Mike Curtis...


If you're a regular reader, you know how we here feel about him. He's...well, at best pathetic and at worst dishonest when it suits him. From an older blog:


Now, we have a reader who asked us to look into this little stunt:

Story is and we should ask candidate Mike Curtis, while holding public office, how he and his pals within local education groups managed to have Curtis' son transferred from Rogers High to Florence High without the obligatory one year wait to play football so he would have higher exposure to college scouts.  

Have we checked this? No, we doubt we would get more than around 20 transfers if we called, and still no answer. We look forward to readers who know more of this to send us their takes. Do we believe it happened simply based on this reader's comment. You betcha!

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Shoalanda

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Reader on Frank Williamson


From a Facebook reader: Really? Are you as crooked as Frank Williamson? Obviously! You don't want to post that his backers are known felons. You don't want to post that he accepts money from MS Industries and doesn't report it (and also lies about it - check out you tube video from night at Champy's). You don't want to post that he doesn't report how much money he has spent and where. Gee Shoalanda Speaks guess you are in his pocket too. Anyone can blow smoke up your a$$ about what they are going to do or have planned but when it's smoke honey... there's fire.

*****

We're happy to post all opinions here...this one came close to be censored because of one word. We invite all counter opinions.

***** 

Just for the record, we've never met Mr. Williamson and have certainly never received any money from him. Perhaps if Mr. Andrews had wanted more endorsements, he would have publicized his platform? Especially on animal welfare?

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Shoalanda

Monday, October 13, 2014

Colbert County Sheriff Endorsement


We at first contemplated not making an endorsement for this office; however, one candidate has been very forthcoming with excellent plans for the department, while the other has not. It should be noted that one can do only so much with the funds at hand. After all, if Shoalanda had a Maserati instead of a Ford Taurus, she might be able to drive faster. So it is with all government offices--one can do only so much, so look for the one who seems most aware and most able.We are endorsing Frank Williamson, albeit a Democrat, for the position of Sheriff of Colbert County.

While on the subject of this office, we want to commend the current administration. Unlike Lauderdale where we receive numerous reports of malfeasance, sexual dalliances, lawsuits, and FBI investigations, the Colbert sheriff seems to have run a reasonably efficient office.

Let's hope whoever should win the November election will continue to move Colbert County forward.

*****

We've had several questions about our Sheffield club comments. It's not difficult to see that clubs/bars in Sheffield have an inordinately high number of violent acts...some ending in death.

We understand that one can get more bang for his/her buck in Sheffield rent wise, but we also have to ask if Sheffield is much more lenient in its issuance of licenses for such establishments. We welcome comments.

*****

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Shoalanda

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Should We Have Compassion for Nichlaus Craig Harden?


One of our readers, who incidentally thought our Saturday blog was "to save our tail," stated we should have compassion for all involved. First we only linked an article--we didn't write it; however, we do feel that Mr. Slaughter could have lost financially through no fault of his own.

Second, no, we have no compassion for Nichlaus Craig Harden, as least not in comparison to his victim(s). Hardin, who's 33 and no teenager, first hit his victim over the head with a bottle and then shot him. Nice guy, huh?

So to the young lady who felt we should have compassion for Harden, we say perhaps you should have much less.

*****

It seems this young lady went on to say we should support the few bars here. Should we have supported the Quad-Cities Knock--how many shootings took place there? How about Celebrities Bar--at least one of the victims there died?

Then there was Club 256--how many shot there? Then there was JD's Glass, shut down just last year--after how many fights and shootings?

We have to ask why all these clubs are in Sheffield? When is the last time you heard of a shooting at a Muscle Shoals club? Or one in Florence or Tuscumbia?

BTW, we probably owe Celebrities Martini Bar an apology. We were bemused that it called itself a "high class establishment" yet had to have a metal detector at the door. If DP's Grill had utilized one, the shooting would most likely not have happened.

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Shoalanda

Saturday, October 11, 2014

When Your Photo Is Used to Advertise a Business...


Yesterday we linked an article about a shooting at DP's Classic Grill in Sheffield. I can speak only for us here, but none of us has ever worked at any establishment where gunfire took place. This is obviously not the social norm.

DP's Classic Grill advertised its Friday entertainment on their Facebook page, and this was picked up in an article on another site. It was Ladies Night. I'm not sure how many ladies attended after the shooting, but to each her own. The article we linked used the photo/advertisement for that Friday's entertainment. I can find nowhere that anyone accused the DJ of shooting anyone. We do assume he decided to go on as scheduled.

This gentleman seems talented...too talented to be working at a dive. We wish him the best.

*****

In keeping with our thoughts on this gentleman, we are linking his FB page. I can't say how many here are into hiphop music, but nonetheless it takes talent to succeed. We wish Mr. Slaughter the best...and that includes a gig at a nicer venue. We also encourage you to like his page.


*****

 



Shoalanda

Friday, October 10, 2014

Those Must Have Been Some Questions



The accounting firm of Watkins-Johnsey is billing the Florence-Lauderdale Tourism Board for over 1.7K to answer some additional questions concerning their financial situation. Maybe Alex Nelson can be forgiven for screaming over this charge. Maybe someone should ask Watkins-Johnsey to break out these charges. How much per individual question?

*****

Want to help the Colbert County Animal Shelter? If you have time on your hands, you can ferry animals to their new rescue homes. Give them a call; here's their FB page: Link

*****

We have one question concerning the recent East Florence shooting. Was the police officer aiming at the man with the supposed weapon? If so, and he missed twice...


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Shoalanda

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Colbert County Needs Leadership


It seems that it's been 14 years since the Colbert County Animal Shelter has had a budget increase. Where four control officers once toiled, now only one is in place to handle complaints and necessary work at the shelter.

We understand that Frank Williamson, if elected, will be addressing help for the shelter by having it placed under that office's command. What say you, Mr. Andrews?

*****

Amid all the brouhaha about prison football production, it was announced that Charles O'Kelley has been angling for a new trial. Really? Isn't his late wife still dead? Did someone force him to sign the plea deal?

*****




Shoalanda

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Breast Cancer Awareness Auction


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We are helping promote a special event auctioning three unique pieces of furniture. All the proceeds of the sale will go towards Breast Cancer awareness charities.

The three AbFab chairs:


You can bid on these three beautiful chairs here: Regency Shop

Take it from us, the Barcelona chair is to die for!

*****

A clarification about yesterday's blog: We understand that Charles O'Kelley's victim's family desires to stop the sale of the footballs which helps support O'Kelley in prison. We do wish to stress that all materials used are furnished by O'Kelley. He has a right to make these and to sell these. His victim's family has a right to make the circumstances known and ask you not to purchase his work. It's your decision.

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Shoalanda

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Illicit Footballs?/Charles O'Kelley


From a reader:

The Jewelry Box in Muscle Shoals sells these footballs, but what you do not know is that Charles O'Kelley the man that took our mother from us makes these in prison!! His daughter Cheryl Mangino owns the store and every time someone buys these you are sending money to murderer!! Why he is allowed to send these from prison I don't know!! So please think twice before you go in thinking what a great gift this would be for someone and purchase one! My mother lost her life and he is making money while our tax dollars are taking care of him!!! Something is not right!!!!

*****


Charles O'Kelley shot his wife of 17 years dead in the Union community of Franklin County. He was 51 years old at the time and agreed to a plea of 25 years in 2000. He is currently in medium security at the Fountain Correctional Facility with an end of sentence date of April 14, 2025. He was denied parole at his last hearing.

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Shoalanda

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Colbert County Sheriff's Race


From J. Redmond:

WHAT race?  The ONLY candidate for Colbert County Sheriff that I have seen doing ANY campaigning is Williamson.  His t-shirts are EVERYWHERE. His signs are EVERYWHERE.  His campaign workers are EVERYWHERE.  Where's Andrews??????

Our thoughts? There's still plenty of time left. Will Colbert again go for a straight Democratic ticket? Is Frank Williamson running scared? Does Phil Andrews have an October Surprise for Colbert County voters? Does anyone care anymore?

News flash: You should care!

*****

Muscle Shoals City Council


Pictured L to R: Joe Pampinto, Neal Willis, Jim Holland, Mike Lockhart, Allen Noles, Mayor David Bradford

Place Number 1
Joe E. Pampinto
Joe is a lifelong resident of Muscle Shoals and attended Muscle Shoals High School.  He is a graduate of the University of North Alabama.  Joe has two children, Payton and Parker.  He has served as member and Chairman of the Parks and Recreation Board from 1992 until 2000.  He has served  on the Alabama Association of School Board's Board of Directors and as Chairman of the  Alabama Risk Management for Schools.  Joe was elected to the Colbert County Board of Education in 1994 and was reelected in 2000.  He served as chairman of the board until resigning to assume his City Council seat in 2004.    Joe was re-elected to the City Council in 2008 and ran unopposed in 2012. Joe was appointed by the city council to represent the citizens of Muscle Shoals as a member of the Solid Waste Authority and is employed at Wise Alloys serving as Plant Manager.  He has attained "Advanced Certifed Municipal Official" status with the Alabama League of Municipalities.  He  considers it "an honor to serve the citizens of Muscle Shoals".

Place Number 2
Neal Willis
Neal was born in Russellville, Al in 1951 and moved to Muscle Shoals in 1964.  He graduated from Muscle Shoals High School in 1969 and served in the United States Army.  Neal has been employed with BellSouth for forty years and is the owner and operator of Neal Willis Chimney Service.  He and his wife Lessa have three children Sarah, Jeffrey, and Nicholas.  The Willis' attend Highland Park Baptist Church.  Neal will begin his fourth term on the City Council in November 2012.  When asked about his vision for the City, he stated "the City is taking big steps forward.  With God's help, we can all make this an even greater place to live, work and raise a family.  I am proud to serve the people"

Place Number 3
Mike Lockhart
Mike and his family moved to Muscle Shoals in 1993. He has been employeed at Helen Keller Hospital for 19 years. His wife, Cheryl, is a teacher in the Muscle Shoals City School System. Mike and Cheryl have two children, both graduates of Muscle Shoals High School. Mike has been active in the city serving as a volunteer coach, and is a past member of both the Park and Recreation Board and the Civil Service Board. He and his family attend Highland Park Baptist Church. Mike is serving his first term as a council member and looks forward to serving the citizens of Muscle Shoals.

Place Number 4
James "Jim" Holland
Jim is currently serving his sixth term on the City Council, serving currently as President of the Council.  Jim has two children and one grandchild.  He is retired from Reynolds Metals Company. Jim currently operates a local accounting/tax service.

Place Number 5
Allen Noles
Allen is currently serving his fifth term on the City Council.  He is a graduate of Muscle Shoals High School and has been employed by the Muscle Shoals Electric Board for the past thirty six years.  His wife Teena, is a retired high school science and chemistry teacher.  They have two children, Matthew and Jenny Strickland. Jenny is married to Hayden Strickland and they have two children, Abby and Samantha.  Matthew is married to the former Jamie Lockland and they have a daughter Mackensie.

If you're tired of your tax money going to high school football, do something/call someone: (256) 383-5675

*****

Just when you thought we presented every "Sleepy Hollow" known to mankind two years ago:




Shoalanda

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Muscle Shoals: Misplaced Priorities?


From a reader:
I don't know if the school system is actually spending 8 million dollars on the football program and stadium expansion or not. However, whether the figure is $8 million or $5 million, or even $2 million, a few questions present themselves. If the school system has that kind of money, to spend on a HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL program, why do the children bring home 3 to 4 fund raisers every year??? If the city council has hundreds of thousands of dollars to give away every year, wouldn't they be better spent on EDUCATING the children? If the football program did, in fact, bring in $325,000 by itself last year, then it should clearly be self-sufficient. So, why then are athletes IN EVERY SPORT at MSHS required to pay a fee that goes to the football program (whether the student plays football or not)?

I love football as much as anyone. But when the school places fundraising for the classroom in the hands of the students, while spending millions of dollars for artificial turf and indoor practice facilities, it is painfully obvious that the priorities of those in power in the Muscle Shoals City School System are misplaced.

*****

A recent comment on a guest blog suggested the writer needed to curb his anger. We believe the Bible teaches that one can be angry and sin not. We also believe it teaches civic responsibility. If one believes the Muscle Shoals municipal government is neglecting a very needy segment of its population, should we not point it out?

Problems overlooked do not get better by themselves. They get worse.

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Shoalanda & Concerned Citizens

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Why No Cameras in UNA Parking Deck?


It seems that one of the two recent threats at UNA was scrawled in the parking deck. Why have cameras not been installed? Weren't these promised after the rape last year?

We've spoken to several UNA students and none feels that this would-be terrorist will be caught. We're going to go out on a limb here and say that he will be. UNA has retained a handwriting expert from Huntsville. If the manpower is there, it can be done.


*****

Our sympathies to Lisa Steele Murr in the loss of Tiffany:


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Shoalanda

Friday, October 3, 2014

A Reponse to Muscle Shoals Expenditures


From a faithful reader in answer to comments by Boyce Nesbitt and Fed Up Muscle Shoals Citizen:

I agree with Mr. Brown. Getting facts straight is real plain. Fact: close to 8 million dollars is being expended on a football program. Fact: the city council of muscle shoals is giving an additional $200,000.00 a year for the school system that enables them to spend money on the sports. Did you know that you actually can get closer to a championship than going to the finals? It's called WINNING A CHAMPIONSHIP. Obviously you are closely watching the revenues of the football program which "by itself brought in $325,000.00 last year", How much is raised by those worthless plastic cards those kids are forced to sell or the parents pay $500.00. What about all those fees to play? With all that money as your are quick to brag about,  why the hell is the city council giving an extra $200,000.00 a year? Did that city council do an audit to determine what money is raised and where it is going? I seriously doubt that, since they can't seem to figure out what they are going to do with their anemic budget. Between the golf course loud sucking sound of a drowning man, and the school system's coach whining that nothing is good enough for him, those people won't ever figure it out. While the city councilmen are griping about $150,000.00 in overtime pay for POLICE AND FIRE personnel, they are throwing tax dollars in ponds and greens on a losing golf course and giving an EXTRA $200,000.00 to a school system for the whining coach, who likely will not get as close to a championship as he did last year.  Tell you what, Mr. Nesbitt, when you and those councilmen have a robbery or fire at your home - CALL A COACH. I damn well will call one of those fine police or firemen that are underpaid and unappreciated. Glad you didn't get elected to the council every time you ran, even though it would be a toss up over who is the worse of the evils. Put you in that bag with all those councilmen and shake it up and you would still pour out stinky slime. I know you went to Muscle Shoals by your grammar. Just keep on paying your taxes and be the mouthpiece for a few losers whose egos are too big to call calf rope. From what we hear on the streets, you folks are laughing about suckering that city council again. They should be so proud to be the object of a few laughs.

*****




We'll Put a Spell on You!

Shoalanda & Friends

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Clap for the Wolfman!


Since it’s October…

A Lexington reader sent us the idea for this. Don’t shoot the messenger.



Coming up: A return to Muscle Shoals…

*****




Bailey

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Muscle Shoals Police Officer Exam


The new examination given to prospective Muscle Shoals Police officers:

1. The Muscle Shoals Police Department is located:

a. On Avalon Avenue
b. At the Donut Shop
c. At Gnat Pond


2. If you become hungry during a shift, the best thing to do is:

a. Keep peanut butter crackers handy in your patrol car
b. Rush to your favorite booth in the nearest diner
c. Shoot a deer on the TVA reservation


3. You can easily shoot without hitting:

a. Innocent bystanders
b. Your foot
c. The door to your patrol car


4. If you’re spat on by a prisoner in handcuffs, you should:

a. Attempt to reason with him while protecting yourself
b. Spit back
c. Use your pepper spray, taser, and a chokehold while calling the city’s attorney


5. If called to a disturbance at the waste water facility, you should:

a. Notify the EMA
b. Call for backup
c. Make sure you don’t damage any city employees’ property


6. If called to a disturbance at Cypress Lakes, you should:

a. Not answer the call and hope the city makes a profit on the insurance claim
b. Take along your golf clubs so that you don’t waste a trip
c. Check for injured turtles


7. When dealing with the public, you should:

a. Always be courteous
b. Get their phone numbers if they’re young and hot
c. Check to see if they’re related to the mayor before giving them a ticket


8. If you pull over an African-American driver, you should:

a. Treat him as you would any other driver
b. Give him a ticket on general principal
c. Draw your gun since blacks don’t belong in Muscle Shoals


9. If called to a death investigation, you should also call:

a. Your brother-in-law who works at a funeral home
b. The newspapers to be sure your name gets in print
c. The coroner if you happen to think about it


10. If you should be wrongly accused of a crime while on duty, you should call:

a. A bail bondsman
b. Your union rep since everyone in city hall is afraid of him
c. Billy Underwood

*****

We recently mentioned more coverage of animal abuse. We certainly plan to follow through, but we see little need for duplication. There has already been a great deal of coverage on PNS concerning this, uh, person. Yes, we're being charitable calling him a person. Here's the link:




Shoalanda