Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween/Celtic New Year!

All of us at Shoalanda Speaks wish our readers a happy Halloween, Harvest, Celtic New Year's Eve, or just a good football watching day!

Halloween Myspace Comments
Halloween Myspace Comments
| Dog Checks


Shoalanda & Staff

Friday, October 30, 2015

Rob Carnegie to Remove Cameras from Tourism Board Meetings!

Rob Carnegie singing "I'm Just an Ol' Chunk of Coal, but I'm Gonna Be a Nazi Someday!"

Remember that Lyle Lovett song: She's hot to go, she's ready. Well all Lauderdale County citizens should be pretty hot right about now and ready to write some letters.

Our new Canadian Tourism Director has decreed there will be no more taping of board meetings. No matter he's not on the board, eh? Rob does know what country he's in now, doesn't he? We can't tell...

A reader just told us that no one should publish any pubic information about incarcerated criminals that the taxpayers support (more on that later), now we're told the taxpaying public has no right to see a video of tourism board meetings. Can they still attend in person? We're betting Carnegie will seek to limit that too. Nor will any tourist department employees be allowed to attend with the exception of Alison Stanfield.

So if anyone asks if you if you think Adolph Hitler escaped NAZI Germany in 1945, be sure to reply yes, he changed his name to Rob Carnegie and is now living in Florence, Alabama, and taxpayers are giving him 120K a year to tell them they're too idiotic to do anything about it.

(Our apologies to Billy Joe for even associating his song with the name "Rob Carnegie.")


Rob's Halloween Costume


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Goodbye, Kelli! You Were Too Good for Them!

 Did you ever stop to think about the difference between a tourism office and a tourism board? They’re not the same thing, are they? 

The hospitality field usually includes restaurants. I can run a pretty big restaurant, at least the operations part, and most of the financial part too. I don’t ever want to have to do that again, but I could. That means I know what to order, how to stock, how to set up bars and tables, all the good stuff. How do you get customers into the restaurant? I have very few ideas. I worked for a chain and our home office always did the advertising, and I didn’t have to worry about it.

So having someone from the hospitality field is really important for the Florence Board? Why?

Many board members for large companies are retired from similar companies. They have the expertise. You won’t find a carpet manufacturer on the board of a steel company and you won’t find the owner of a large computer company on the board of a natural gas company. They have expertise all right, but just not any in the right areas.

So why should the Florence Tourism Board want a member of the hospitality field to come on board when he/she may not know diddley about getting tourists to come to the Shoals? Maybe it just sounds good?

All this is to ask why was Kelli Gaputis not kept on the board? There were two places to fill, so the board could have had both Kelli and a member of the hospitality industry. Is it still men versus women with them? Isn’t the board mainly to make sure the money is spent correctly? A sort of checks and balances thing? Why are these people who meet once a month more important than those who work in the office five days a week to promote tourism and actually know what they’re doing?

Maybe someone understands, but I don’t. Maybe someone understands why the county commission didn’t even interview Kelli. Sure she had been on the board for some time, but not all the current commission members knew her. Didn’t they at least have a few questions about her vision for the next few years? Or did they know already they weren’t even going to consider her? It’s pretty bad when our local governing bodies don’t even feel the need to keep up appearances of impartiality. 


J. Redmon will be bringing us some interesting information on drugs and other problems in local community corrections in the next few days. Any readers with inside information or questions are encouraged to comment.



Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Romance of the Subway Bandit

We won’t use any real names here, so we’ll call her Mari. She had a dead-end job, an ex-husband who had abandoned her, and a small daughter to raise. With no extra money on hand, Mari didn’t take care of her appearance; her co-workers had never known her to even have a date. Then she arrived at her office one Monday morning to announce she was married.

Everyone was shocked, but eager to meet Mari’s new husband. Well…that wouldn’t be possible just then. He was working on construction or on an oil rig or something in another state, or was that country? He’d be home in a few months; they’d just have to wait. Mari’s office mates teased her that her new last name sounded a great deal like “pregnant,” but little did they know that Mari and her new hubby had yet to consummate their marriage.

In an era when the Internet was just a series of bulletin boards linked by telephone land lines, those with a need to know garnered most of their information from an old fashioned newspaper. In the Shoals that usually wasn’t the Tricycle Daily, but the Birmingham News. The News published such fascinating articles, like the one on prisoners about to leave Limestone Correctional Facility in a few weeks for a new life. Observant readers noted one who was interviewed had a surname that sounded much like the word “pregnant.”

Mari’s friends said nothing, but rejoiced with her when her new husband finally joined her. In a few months, they celebrated again when Mari actually was pregnant. It wasn’t long until Mari and her family moved away. Those who knew her casually really didn’t know where she’d gone or what had happened to her and her family. Whatever it was, it apparently wasn’t good.

Fast forward 25 years, and we have a Subway robber apprehended in Muscle Shoals. His name sounded suspiciously like “pregnant.” Was it Mari’s husband? A quick Google showed that he hadn’t been Mari’s husband in a long time. In fact, he had been searching for her and their children for the past two years. What would have made Mari disappear so thoroughly from her husband’s life and take their child? Whatever it was, we can bet it wasn’t pleasant.

The Subway robber will probably return to prison, assuming he doesn’t have any family who will demand ad nauseum that he be placed in community corrections. This tarnished tale of romance didn’t have a good outcome, did it? Will it cause anyone to take stock of her own situation? We doubt it. We do hope it encourages her friends to maintain their relationship. We understand that some are accepting, while others are simply aghast. Remember whatever happens, it’s not your fault. Some people just have to learn the hard way. In fact, that’s true for most people we know.


We recently posted the words to the “Snake Song.” Now we see a regular letter writer to the TD has mentioned if you take in a frozen snake to warm him up, he’ll simply bite you when he thaws out. Snakes and druggies really get bad press, don’t they? Maybe it’s for good reason…



Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Court House Etiquette?/Her Friend's Bad Choice

First a reader has shared this with us:

Did you know that part time employees of Lauderdale county are not included in the recent pay raise or cost of living raise the county commission passed in the budget? Nor were they included in last years raises , No benefits, no holidays are expected but really wouldn't you think a part time employee would get a raise ??? who would need it the most??? According to the commissioners they Never give raises to these employees . Just think if you work there 5 yrs or more, hoping you might get a full time job some day there only to be told you will never get a raise . Cost of Living goes up just as well for these employees who do vital work the same as full time employees , Great way to make a person feel unappreciated .


Problems in certain court house offices? We have not had any experience in the court house itself in recent years. We invite all comments on what may or may not be wrong there. We can comment on one problem we've seen in the Florence-Lauderdale Government Building and at many other businesses too numerous to mention.

It's summer; you wear thong sandals, do you not? Well, you shouldn't. Not all offices, etc., are governed by OSHA. When that filing cabinet or whatever turns over on your foot, see if the company's workman's compensation policy will pay your bill then. 

Oh, you say, but teeheehee, they're so cute, and how often does an accident like that happen? More often than you think.

Workers in restaurant and medical settings? Are you wearing acrylic nails? Perhaps, even if your supervisor gives you a pass on this, you should read up on what you can transmit to patrons/patients/whomever you come in contact with. You also might want to read of the increased likelihood for your own infection while wearing these "cute little things."


A few months ago, a young woman contacted us via FB that she was very concerned for her friend. The friend's boyfriend was in prison, but he wouldn't take her pictures off his FB or change his relationship status. At the time we wondered why the friend was writing and not the young woman who had "seen the light." Could it be that the friend was trying to be a good influence, but the young woman in question didn't want to be saved?

We didn't bother to look farther into the situation at that time. We have now. No, my young reader, your friend doesn't want to do any better, because of course she can save him. You might ask her how that's been working out, but we sadly predict she'll place him before you. Just be there when she realizes what he is and probably always will be.



Monday, October 26, 2015

A Reader Visits the Lauderdale County Courthouse...

Lauderdale County's Second Courthouse

Guest blog:

After your article about Missy Hibbett, Lauderdale County Circuit Clerk, and her office staff, I wanted to check it out myself. I am a republican and would have been voting for Missy Hibbett after her switch from being a democrat because I thought she was sincere and probably doing a good job since the Republican Executive Committee allowed her to switch. After seeing the letter on your website, I was a little taken back. A close family member and I had the discussion about the validity of the letter and he insisted that I not be judgmental, so I personally did my own homework.

When I visited the Lauderdale County Courthouse, I made it a point to begin on the first floor to observe the office staff and ask if our elected officials were at work. I was surprised to see Danny Hendrix at work as soon as the courthouse opened the day I was there. Mr. Motlow, Probate Judge, was coming into the building as I was. I sat quietly and observed the staff and their conduct for a little while before going upstairs.

I made my way through each floor and spoke with most elected officials. It took me a couple of hours to get to the offices on the 4th floor. By the time I got to Missy Hibbett's office, it was later in the morning and thought I would find her at work and prove your article as false. When I asked to speak with Ms. Hibbett, I was told she wasn't in today. She might be in late this afternoon. The lady I spoke to behind the counter came from the back, as there was no one at the window. The attire, or lack of attire was alarming to say the least. I could hear laughing and loud inappropriate language from the area the young lady came from.

I have to admit, I was wrong in assuming the Lauderdale County Republican Executive Committee did there homework and made a good choice in letting her switch parties. With the qualifying of candidates for the 2016 elections, I wonder how many more of these kind of people are going to be crossing over to the Republican party. I challenge all voting citizens of Lauderdale County to observe your Clerk's office, as well as all of them, and see who is really on the job, who they are employing, and if professional attire and conduct is expected and required by our public servants. If you don't have time to visit the courthouse, make a phone call and ask to speak with your elected officials. If you don't take the time to verify the information, then you should listen to those of us who do.

Lauderdale County Voter



Sunday, October 25, 2015

Summer of '65: Murder on the Lake - Part IV

Previous installments:

Richard Leland Romine's trial began on November 29, 1965. Frank Potts and Bryce U. Graham acted as defense attorneys for the North Florence father who had initially faced the charge of First Degree Murder (now known as Capital Murder). A Lauderdale grand jury indicted the 40 year-old Romine on the lesser charge of Second Degree Murder (now known as Felony Murder). Lavern Tate prosecuted for the state.

The trial was unique in that the parents of former high school standout athlete Bobby Stewart didn't feel justice would be done for a Sheffield victim in Lauderdale County. They hired Muscle Shoals attorney Donald Wassner to assist the Lauderdale District Attorney's office in its prosecution of Romine. Their actions may have produced the exact opposite of their intent. Wassner had located in the Shoals in the 1950s. A staunch Republican, he was noted for having been a prisoner of war in WWII, but was also considered an outsider in the then staunchly Democratic area of Northwest Alabama.

The prosecution depicted Romine as leading a group of young Coffee football players, armed with pipes, to confront and attack Stewart. Defense attorney Frank Potts called the defendant to the stand on the fifth day of the trial; Romine related how his son had been bullied and beaten by Stewart at least ten times, perhaps more. He admitted to being at a loss as to the proper way to handle the situation since the Lauderdale County Sheriff's office had not acted. Potts then called a bevy of character witnesses for the defendant, depicting him as a family man with a responsible job. Throughout the trial, Stewart had been presented as a perennial student who socialized with younger boys from Sheffield High who were easily manipulated.

On December 4th, Donald Wassner presented the prosecution's closing arguments while the Lauderdale prosecutors sat silent. The jury took two hours and 23 minutes to acquit Romine.

Editor's Note: It's now been 50 years since the tragic death of Bobby Stewart split the Shoals apart. Both Richard Leland Romine and his son are now deceased, as are the parents of Bobby Stewart. The names of any witnesses, living or dead, have intentionally been omitted from this account.



Saturday, October 24, 2015

We're Seven!

Yes, Shoalanda and friends have now been holding the block for seven years. In honor of that milestone, we're requesting some comments.

We're asking readers to send their comments on the seven best SS blogs/stances and the seven worst (all subjective, of course). We'll publish the seven best and seven worst in a few weeks.

Thanks for everything to all of you!


This one's been hard to find; enjoy!

Shoalanda & Staff

Friday, October 23, 2015

Angel a No-Show in Lauderdale? Where is She?

It seems that Angel Gieske, whose trial for theft in Walker County has been delayed for a mental evaluation at Taylor Hardin, was a no-show at her June arraignment in Lauderdale on four similar charges. Where is she?

We assume she did make it to her mental evaluation in July, but shouldn't her non-appearance at the Lauderdale arraignment have caused a revocation of her bond here? The Walker County DA says he is going to ask for the maximum against Gieske. The faux counselor's trial there has not resumed since her stint at Taylor Hardin in Tuscaloosa.



Thursday, October 22, 2015

A Great Blog: The Great War

Whether the Great War (World War I) is a special interest of yours or you just love history, a local master blogger has a treat for you.

Matt Osborne of Florence has brought together a veritable encyclopedia of resources to bring the events of exactly 100 years ago to those whose fathers, grandfathers, or great-grandfathers served in what was then billed as the war to end all wars.

We've been negligent not to post a link to this wonderful history before. It may take you a little while to catch up, but it's worth it. Thanks, Matt, for this obvious labor of love for the period.



Wednesday, October 21, 2015

So Angel is Pleading Insanity/Non-Compos Mentis/Looney Tunes?

Remember Angel Gieske? She pretended to be some sort of counseling guru, had a foundation that accepted donations, took money from Alabama DHR under false pretenses, and made life a general hell for many families (at least the side that wasn't paying her)? Her trial for theft in Walker County appears to be ongoing, and her day in court in Lauderdale is quite a ways down the road:

Now we assume Angel has no personal funds at this point, but we would love to see some local attorney file a class action lawsuit against her for all the harm she's caused.

"I'm Really an Angel!"


Sources at the Lauderdale County Courthouse say the drug trafficking trials for Wes Akin and Brady Irons did not begin this week as scheduled. They had no further information. Perhaps they decided to accept a plea after all?



Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Will You Vote for Florence? Tell Us True....

Some time ago, there was a contest to name the best fishing site; Rogersville was a finalist. It was a people's choice type contest, and one could vote once each day. There was even a substantial cash prize for the winner. Did Rogersville win? What do you think? A town from a much smaller area won, as we recall.

Now you have a chance to vote for Florence as the greatest town in the US. Okay, there may be some better, but we don't live there, do we? There are five finalists, so Florence has a chance. Will you vote?


We're glad our fellow blogger L. Stone has some Facebook savvy. If you're not getting our blogs in your news feed, here's the best way to correct that:

Just check the "See First" option. Our blog will appear first in your news feed...assuming you wish it to. Many thanks for reading!


Hey, we see new construction at the old Poplar South building and the former ComCast building! We're hearing some great things about the latter, but haven't gotten the complete info. We'll post here as soon as we have the okay. So, who knows what's going in the old eatery on South Poplar?



Quinton Hanson: A Wise Choice

We were pretty amazed when Dewey Mitchell won his first term as Lauderdale County Commission Chair. Then again, this is Alabama where malfeasance is usually rewarded. Now we have a chance to elect someone who has more than a smattering of business knowledge and who is, as far as we know, scrupulously honest.

Quinton Hanson ran as a Republican before it was that fashionable in this corner of the state. He's no hanger-on opportunist. Check him out.


For those who are still having problems with our blog not showing up in the FB news feed, you may use the "Follower" option here on Blogspot. You do need a Google account; then our blog and any others you may follow will show up in your private Blogspot news feed.

If anyone has continued problems, let us know.



Sunday, October 18, 2015

A Good Father? What Would it Take?

In the past, we’ve published articles about the problems associated with children brought up in a home without a father. Some have been sent to us by our friend Mark Davis, and some have been sent by groups seeking to restore some sort of stability to today’s homes. We’ve added our own thoughts from time to time, and this time we’re going to get a little specific.

A friend who used to blog with us once said you can’t always blame a parent for the way a child turns out. We’re sure that’s true, but when you compare those who somehow became lost on life’s highway to children raised in a fatherless home, you have quite an overlap. So we want to address a certain father.

Your marriage must have been pretty bad for you to have left your wife and children and moved hundreds of miles away. It’s a pretty good guess that you didn’t get to enjoy those twice monthly weekends with your brood. Or was that the problem? You just didn’t want to be a father anymore?

Not everyone has children, but everyone has parents of some ilk. How about them? They’re in their 10th decade of life now; they must really love to get your phone calls. They just don’t get to see you anymore than your children do.

So what can you expect from your children when, and if, you make it to your 90s? We have a psychic prediction for you (our ability must be due to all that trick-or-treating we did as a child). Any of your children in prison when you’re taking your last breath definitely won’t be there for you.

It’s really too late to be a good father. What would it take to make you a good son and a good grandfather? We’re not going to hold our breath.



Saturday, October 17, 2015

Gimme That Ol’ Time Satanic Trick or Treating

So a representative from a local church doesn’t think trick-or- treating usually causes a child to turn to Satanism…but you can’t be too careful. Hmmm, could our next door neighbors be Satanists? They do cut back their crepe myrtles each year, not a good sign.

Trick-or-treating is probably a tradition that is better left behind, but not because of any Satanic influence it might have. We read of minor injuries almost every holiday. Still, if a family wants to take their children out amongst their neighbors once a year, that’s not our call to make.

Our take is why a representative from this church worries about such an unlikely event, when half their congregation doesn’t have a father in the home. Shouldn’t they be spending their time and dollars on some sociological/spiritual training  concerning the importance of family, rather than on such fustian?

Why comment; it’s their church? We comment because they brought the issue to the public, not us.


Years ago there was a popular urban myth that the Proctor and Gamble Company was controlled by Satanists because of its moon and 13 stars logo. The trademarked symbol dates from the 18th Century and represents the 13 colonies/states. When we once explained that to a co-worker who was upset about P&G’s turn to the dark side, she replied, “Well, it did use to mean that, but it means Satanism now.” Really?

So based on that, we don’t like Cheerios, and Cheerios are round, and round symbolizes eternity, and hell is eternal, that must mean Cheerios are Satanic. Don’t buy them, folks. Shoalanda said so. (Donuts? We love them. They obviously symbolize Heaven. Go for it.)

Tomorrow: A word about fathers in the home.



Friday, October 16, 2015

Ghost Highway 43

Miss Him Now?
No one here did a thorough search, but it's easy to find references to the widening of Hwy. 43 from Killen to the Tennessee state line dating back to 1995. In fact, the project has had more face lifts than the late Joan Rivers. Shoals residents were once promised the road would be completely open at the same time the Tennessee stretch was...around 2002.

Delays are a part of life. The delays in this project can be attributed to Montgomery pulling the project in favor of other areas of the state. If Rep. Phillip Pettus really wanted to help this area, the funding of the completion of this widening project would have been his first priority when he reached Goat (DoNothing) Hill.

Shoals citizens can complain all they want about a lack of Interstate spur; we can't even get a U.S. highway completed. Where's the outrage?


That bill that Lynn Greer supposedly had ready to abolish, or at least reform the state's Certificate of Need law? Must be another ghost. Perhaps it will materialize briefly during his next campaign?



Thursday, October 15, 2015

Tonya Lynn Irwin Says Her Babies Were "Kidnapped"

Tonya Lynn Irwin styles herself online as the mother of three young children. She also presents herself, along with "their daddy" as being the victims of Lauderdale County DHR. Calling herself "LonelyMom333," she was begging for online info about her brood last December.

Feel sorry for her? Not at this point. The DHR has mucho problems, but somehow we feel Franklin County and Lauderdale DHR have done their research on this one. Somehow the Ayers couple comes to mind.

We worry about the three children being separated. Are they or are they housed together in Morgan County? No winners here.


A reader has asked us if the Hibbett/Homan divorce papers have been sealed. Have they? Our reader says a petition for divorce filed by Ira Kneeland Hibbett Jr. was thrown out of Lauderdale courts last May.

The TD published some revealing info from a petition filed by Lauderdale County Circuit Clerk Homan-Hibbett. If this caused the clerk to have her petition sealed, the TD needs to file one of its ubiquitous requests for public information.



Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Problems with Community Corrections? That Hardly Covers it...

We received a private communication from a reader about some incidents in community corrections. We checked them out, and they are troubling. At best, it would seem the right hand of local corrections doesn't know what the left is doing.

Years ago, we worked for an upscale company that gave an elaborate holiday party each year. The year we were stuck with many of the arrangements, we asked the custodian to stay after the party to help clean up--he would have been generously financially reimbursed. Unfortunately, the gentleman told us it would be impossible; he was on probation for a drug crime and had to be home by ten o'clock each night. He also informed us that his probation officer carefully monitored all traffic arrests to determine who was where and when.

Now the above restrictions were for a man who had not been charged with theft or been to prison, but who was given probation. They seem fair to us. What could someone who had been sentenced to nine years in prison for property and drug crimes expect? Apparently a lot less in Lauderdale Community Correction in 2015.

Probably the reader who contacted us knew we have done several blogs on Andrew Daniel Scott over the years. While in community corrections this January, he tested positive for some serious drugs. He was, for whatever reason, not dealt with at that time. Then in March he was stopped for speeding on Hwy. 20 in Lauderdale County. By May, Judge Self allowed Scott to enroll in the Mission of Mercy rehab program--whether as a in-patient or an out-patient, we don't know.

Here's the kicker: Did Scott bother to return to court for his speeding ticket? No. Judge Medley issued a warrant for his arrest, but apparently no one bothered to tell her or other authorities where he was. Scott, or his attorney, did clear up the matter by August, but Hottie Scottie remained in drug rehab until five days later when Judge Self ordered him to community work release. Scott's attorney had requested a return to simple monitoring. Sure, why not? He's such a great risk, right?

The bottom line seems to be that local community corrections can't be trusted to oversee many of the state's prison inmates. We know the system is overcrowded, but which is more palatable? More taxes or thieves, baby-snatchers, and murderers being allowed to roam in your neighborhood at night with no oversight whatsoever?



Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Pick Your Battles!/Boyd Case

Yes, right is right, and wrong is wrong. That doesn't mean that our state pols, or any of us for that matter, should suggest or initiate new laws which are illegal in themselves and will cost the state large chunks of money to defend...unsuccessfully.

Gay marriage? We now have a state judge who made comments on a current case; it was unethical to do so, and he knew it. Will he bear the monetary burden to defend himself, or will the taxpayers have to shoulder much of the costs. How about all those totally unconstitutional laws governing abortion clinics? How much has the state paid to defend these losing issues?

Closer to home, we have only to mention Phillip Pettus. Yet he says he will try to disenfranchise Florence voters during the next regular legislative session. Why should the citizens of Alabama have to pay financially for the inanities of these elected officials?


Reporting what we don't know: That's often the case with the TimesDaily. A recent article on new sentencing rules for teens convicted of serious crimes mentioned the Boyd brothers. Nathan, who was 17 at the time of his crime (the murder of his former employer), is currently serving Life Without. He admitted his crime. Eric, 19 at the time of the murder, has denied taking an active part. He claims he knew of the crime only after Danny Sledge was already dead. He had no qualms about helping his brother escape and spending the money the robbery brought in, but no physical evidence connected him to the scene.

While we think Eric was...oh, we dunno...pond scum. He may not have been a murderer. He was sentenced to Life With Possibility of Parole. If he took an active part in the murder, he doesn't deserve that. If he was only an amoral idiot who couldn't have cared less about anyone else when he was high on drugs, he does deserve a chance to be free at some point and perhaps help others who are traveling the road he once trod. If we believe everything published in the TD, we would be severely limited in our assessment of this crime.



Monday, October 12, 2015

Who Gains if Industrial Park is New Shelter Site?

I need a home!
Because so many have asked...

1. Florence has stated it wants around 20 acres of land for the new animal shelter..

2. The "Musgrove" Industrial site is on sale at the reduced price of 14.5K an acre. This would come out to be 290K.

3. Assuming a realtor commission (there might not be one) and other closing costs, what would the net be? Some realtors cap their commission for public entities at 5K--we have no idea about locals. So we could guestimate 284,000.00 as the maximum the estate would receive.

4. For eight heirs, each would receive 35,500.00. Not chump change is it, at least to most of us?

We await who wins and loses in this deal. Meanwhile, the animals suffer. Yes, Mr. Bankston, we're one of those eccentrics!


Just how badly does the Fairground Road site flood? Our ball parks, small pool, farmers' market stalls, etc., don't seem to be suffering any lingering effects from flooding. Comments?



Sunday, October 11, 2015

Lauderdale County Sheriff's Office Budget

I'm sure you're aware of Sheriff Singleton's 'budget battle' with the Lauderdale County Commission. Would you be surprised to learn that PART of the 'problem' stems from former Lauderdale County Sheriff, Ronnie Willis, being too lazy, or inept (you call it), to submit a NEW budget each fiscal year? Instead, he would submit THE SAME budget several years in a row, with absolutely ZERO increases for proposed vehicle purchases/maintenance, equipment, training, etc.. The County Commission DOESN'T KNOW what a REAL budget for a REAL Sheriff's Department is supposed to look like.....until now.

J. Redmon


Congrats to Dr. Thomas J. Calhoun, new president of Chicago State University. No more will he have to contend with dubious sexual assault reporting, drunken & thuggish football players, and Chinese Communists...we hope. We do have to ask if such relief is worth braving a Chicago winter?



Saturday, October 10, 2015

Moving Oka Kapassa Festival to Florence?

Several connected loosely with the Oka Kapassa Festival, held for the past 15 years in Tuscumbia, have reported there are plans afoot to move the festival to Florence due to the condition of Spring Park. We have no inside information on this and welcome any informed comments.

Apparently, the fountains, light shows, and some of the railway are no longer working...again. Muskrats? What kind of teeth do these little critters have that eat through rail track and restroom doors?


We've also been asked about the missing park funds from two or so years ago. We have no update and welcome comments from the informed public.


Release of the "Weems Three?"

An update on the release dates of three arrested and convicted in the death of Amanda Taylor:

* Matthew Fox will exit the Decatur Work Release Center on October 21st.

* Laurel Pruett will exit her community service center in Birmingham on November 17th, due to some lost Correctional Incentive time.

*Ashley Greenhill will exit the Birmingham Lovelady Center (a rehab facility not directly connected with the state) on November 20th. She was arrested approximately one month after Fox and Pruett.



Friday, October 9, 2015

TimesDaily Gets It Right...Imps Skating

The TimesDaily actually had the correct take on the closure of some underused Driver License offices. Whoda thunk it?

Now, who locally still wants Hillary Clinton for the next president?


Comments about closing at Costellium? All comments are welcome, as are rebuttals. We have no opinion, or even any inside info about the situation. We long ago gave up on all readers actually having the ability to distinguish our comments from those sent to us.


Some interesting comments we've received over the years:

* My boyfriend is totally innocent. It was his ex's four year old daughter who seduced him.

* Yes, my friend did sell some tainted heroin that killed a few people, but he/she has been clean for six months now, so the DA should drop all charges.

* We don't need a new animal shelter. My cat Prissy has had 16 litters over the past seven years, and I've found homes for all of them.

* I don't condone the fact my son is a rapist, drug user, thief, but he's so sensitive to what people say about him. It has to be illegal to publish any mention of his various crimes.

Our 7th anniversary is coming up. We'll publish some more of these bon mots in the next few weeks.



Thursday, October 8, 2015

Spring Park Update/Real Skinny on TMC:

Tuscumbia's Spring Park is in dire need of new management! It has long been mismanaged, thanks to years of bad budgeting and neglected upkeep. How many times should park visitors have to endure broken down / neglected attractions? In September Tuscumbia hosted the Oka Kapassa festival. This is an annual Native American festival held in Spring Park. During this year’s festival, park guests had to endure very poor restroom conditions. Days before the festival started Tuscumbia's Park Manager, was confronted about Spring Park’s unsightly restroom conditions.

The restrooms suffered from: backed-up toilets, broken/shot lighting fixtures, cobwebs, broken door hinges, and feces on the walls/toilets/floor. In addition, the women’s main entrance door is so swollen and warped that it cannot be closed for fear that it could get stuck and trap people inside the restroom. But no worries because the door also contains an enormous hole that a person could crawl through for escape. Mr. Kendrick’s solution to the restroom issues – just wash down the restrooms with a pressure washer. So how does this suffice for proper maintenance? Maybe his cleaning method also explains how the women's restroom door acquired (over time) the enormous hole. Water damage? 

But I digress! To add further insult, the newer public restrooms remained under lock and key during the entire festival. Meanwhile the City of Florence has been chomping at the bit to relocate the Oka Kapassa Festival to their side of the river. The motive - FESTIVALS BRING IN $$! It appears that our very own park manager could care less. Another embarrassing episode occurred this past weekend when a large church group from Albertville, Alabama visited Spring Park. They gathered at the park to view the water fountain show - however - the show never occurred. There were no announcements nor any signage to inform the visitors that indeed the water fountain is broken. (Yes everyone, it’s broken again!) The visiting church group returned to Albertville feeling very disappointed.

There are many more similar stories posted on Facebook, Yelp, and other social media sites with firsthand accounts from other out of town visitors. Even the parks’ most devoted visitors have noticed the mismanagement. Some of these citizens brought their concerns to Tuscumbia's Mayor, but to no avail. Yes... I know that a well known prosperous family could toss out a few thousand dollars and patch up the mess (again), but with further neglect it falls apart all over again. The source of the problem has always been grave neglect, mismanagement, and incompetence from our Park Manager, along with our Mayor - who’d rather spend a million plus dollars renovating City Hall so he can have a nice office. I think it's time to clean out Tuscumbia from the inside out for the sake of our park and our city.

Tuscumbia Muscrat


From a reader:

The real reason TMC is closing is not because they are “not profitable”, as reported in the Times Daily. It is due to an internal power struggle between the infamous Joe Pampinto, our “distinguished” Muscle Shoals city counsel member, and TMC’s former, as of yesterday, department head, Randy Ray. Joe hated Randy so much that he starved TMC out to get rid of him. In January of this year Joe started outsourcing the work that TMC did for Constellium and force them to become “unprofitable”. Unfortunately, Joe has successfully unemployed 135 members of his community with this petty fight. Thanks Joe!! Hope the voters remember this. I have contacted Times Daily and WHNT and have yet to see this side of the story reported.



Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Interview with Prince/Unprotected Sex

Today we're bringing back our friend Prince to bring us up to date on the new Florence Animal Shelter:

SS: So have have things been, Prince?

P: Ruff!

SS: Sorry to hear that. What's new on the proposed modern animal shelter Florence has promised to bring its citizens.

P: It seems James Bankston is at it again. He thinks animal lovers are “eccentric.” Well, I think he's delusional.

SS: What seems to be Mr. Bankston's problem with the shelter now?

P: He's calling it a Taj Mahal. I personally think that's racist. What's wrong with Indian architecture? Arf!

SS: Good point, Prince. Do you have any idea what his problem is?

P: He's either looking for his 15 minutes of infamy or he's a shill for property owners who hope to sell another parcel of land to the city for the new shelter. Grrrr. Dog Pound? Really! Grrrr.

SS: Thanks for sharing with us today, Prince. We must say that you're exceptionally well spoken for a Canine-American.

P: Yep. I went to Texas A&M!*

* Stolen from Butch Hancock

What Having Unprotected Sex Says About You

1. You have no respect for yourself.
2. You have no respect for your partner.
3. You have no respect or love for any children you might produce from this act.
4. You are perfectly content to let the state support your child/children.

Number Four especially applies to any single man would father a child while under indictment for a crime that could send him to prison for at least five years and perhaps as much as 15 depending on his behavior.



Special Report: Justin Matthew Green to Become Father Again

Remember that advocate for Justin Matthew Green who was "just a friend?" Well, she's announced she's knocked up. Wonderful! Of course, he doesn't love her enough to marry her... Maybe when he gets out of work release, or should we say community corrections? Who the heck knows what Lauderdale County will do with him for the next 12 months?

For all who might need a little reminder of the laws of the universe:

Al Wilson The Snake Lyrics:

On her way to work one mornin',
Down a path alongside the lake,
A tender-hearted woman,
Saw a poor half-frozen snake.
His pretty colored skin
Had been all frosted with the dew,
"Poor thing," she cried, "I'll take you in,"
"And I'll take care of you."
"Take me in, tender woman,
Take me in, for heaven's sake,
Take me in, tender woman,"
Sighed the snake.

She wrapped him up all cozy,
In a comforter of silk.
And laid him by the fireside
With some honey and some milk.
Well she hurried home from work that night
And soon as she arrived,
She found that pretty snake
She'd taken in had been revived.
"Take me in, tender woman,
Take me in, for heaven's sake,
Take me in, tender woman,"
Sighed the snake.

Now, she clutched him to her bosom,
"You're so beautiful," she cried.
"But if I hadn't brought you in,
By now you might have died."
Now she stroked his pretty skin again,
And then kissed and held him tight.
Instead of saying, "Thanks,"
That snake gave her a vicious bite.
"Take me in, tender woman,
Take me in, for heaven's sake,
Take me in, tender woman,"
Sighed the snake.

"But, I saved you," cried that woman,
"And you've bitten me, but why?
You know your bite is poisonous,
And now I'm gonna die."
"Aw, shut up, silly woman,"
Said that reptile, with a grin.
"You knew damn well I was a snake,
Before you brought me in."
"Please, take me in, oh, tender woman,
Take me in, for heaven's sake,
Take me in, tender woman,"
Sighed the snake.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Racism/Confidentiality/Sex Abuse

So Hillary Clinton and Jesse Jackson and who knows who else are upset that the State of Alabama is closing some of its underused Driver License offices? It doesn't matter that anyone needing a picture ID to vote (or for anything else) can get one free at the county courthouse. Why muddle a good rant with facts?

When Shoalanda was in college about 90 years ago, one professor who hailed from the wilds of the great prairie states would often regale students with how far one had to travel to reach the county seat in her home state. This prof also fervently lobbied for Alabama and other fairly populous states to combine counties in order to save money. The rationale being that 30 miles to the courthouse might be a lot in a wagon, but 50 or 60 miles in a motorized vehicle was a mere Sunday drive.

We think she failed to take into consideration the level of laziness of modern man; just imagine how that need for immediate gratification has grown with the advent of the Internet. We want it now, but of course we don't want to pay for it.


So the Secret Service uses national security data for its own amusement? So do some local police we hear. How about local employers? Send us any horror stories you may have.


Oliver Brazelle has begun a two-year prison sentence. Is is enough? A reader just sent us some interesting thoughts on judging. We all judge or attempt to. We aren't privy to Brazelle's health status, but we imagine he will be sent to the Hamilton facility for the aged and infirm. We usually read what a “piece of cake” that is. Really?

We're of mixed feelings about Brazelle, but our sympathies lie with his victims. They have a lifetime sentence to deal with what he did to them.