Monday, November 30, 2015

306 Is Coming/Sheffield's Not Too Speedy

306 BBQ: It’s coming and it’s coming to the old McCorkle’s Furniture Store location. Things change. Want an elegant interior? Hire an interior designer and have him/her order your new d├ęcor. It’s much like our recent blog on self-checkouts; a small niche store is not usually financially feasible, at least in Florence, Alabama.

But we have barbecue. We have, in fact, a huge barbecue restaurant to lure more diners downtown. Can’t get a table at Rosie’s or Trowbridge’s? Walk three steps down to the 306.

In fact, 306 is actually two eateries in one. There will be take-out in front and a bar/dine-in area in back. The official name with be 306 BBQ & Back Alley Sports Bar. One has to wonder just how large their sign will be to get that mouthful in. One also has to wonder how those residing in the new 1K/month luxury apartments on the two floors above will feel about a sign on their building proclaiming “Back Alley.”

Oh, who operate 306? They’re not the original 306 guys from Athens, but the first franchisees of the Athens guys, Chris Whitten and Glenn Hoffman.

Want a job there? They’re opening in two weeks and hiring right now:


From J. Redmon:

Where is it? It's been a couple of months since I reported the apparent intent by the City of Sheffield to install a 'speed hump' in the immediate vicinity of Sheffield High School. I applauded this decision, having wondered in the past (For the record, I am STILL wondering.) why Threadgill Primary was the only Sheffield City School deemed 'worthy' of such devices. Will a student or school staff member have to be hit by a speeding car at Sheffield High School or L. E. Willson School before the City of Sheffield gets off its duff and acts? This ISN'T rocket science, folks.

Tomorrow: Fast times at Greenbrier Barbecue—you don’t want to miss it.


Sunday, November 29, 2015

December: Happy Trial Days?

December is fast approaching, and with it some interesting trials…unless again delayed for various forensic reasons. Mark Edwin Montgomery is facing trial for the murder of two women and a dog. It should be a slam dunk Capital Murder conviction, but after Jeremy Williams’ recent trial, we may need to rethink that.


Let’s digress here a minute; do you ever expect to hear?:

“Mr. Doe, you’ve been convicted by a jury of your peers of kidnapping, raping, slaughtering, and cannibalizing 16 nuns and a cocker spaniel; however, this court has received affidavits from several of your friends, most under 25…years of age and IQ points…who state you have a good heart. Therefore, I’m going to let you go this time with only a warning.”


Meanwhile back in the real world, the third attempt to try Wes Akin and Brady Irons for drug trafficking should also be coming up. Has the heroin trade slacked up in the two years since the reputed major dealers in the Shoals were arrested?

We have no idea, but it seems about time for another major drug bust. Just who names those operations anyway? Remember Rick Thompson’s Operation Copy Cat? Limestone County seems to like the term Operation Spring Clean. North of the state line, we’ve just had Operation Glacier (maybe they only arrested those dealing in “ice?”).

Why not have more transparency? How about “Operation Get Joe the Mole and His Old Lady Off the Streets” or “Operation Ship the Needmore Gang’s Backside Down South?” Somehow those have a much more memorable ring to them.


Saturday, November 28, 2015

At Least We Have Football

Once upon a time, there was a man in his 50s; he was heavy and wrinkled and not much to look at. He liked young girls. No, we’re not saying underage girls, just young women. A friend of the man became used to the parade of younger women at the man’s home. Some were poor, some were scarred, some were hindered on life’s highway by unwanted children whom they presumably didn’t know how to prevent.

The man’s friend noticed that as the man aged, the girls became rougher looking. For after all, everything in life is a tradeoff. The man had not increased his financial worth, and what little looks he had were fast going. The search for a young woman to date had become more difficult.

One day the man called his friend to meet his latest squeeze. The friend was shocked to find an unkempt young woman who must have weighed 400 pounds…but as the man told his friend, “she’s only 18!”

Aren’t we like that in Alabama? We don’t have an adequate mental health system, we don’t have an even halfway decent prison system, we don’t have state of the art schools, we don’t even have money to keep the state parks open that 90% fund themselves.

What we do have is a great football team. At least No. 99 can boast that; we’re pretty sure Shoalanda and J. Redmon are a little disappointed after today. We do wonder if we would have such great teams if they depended on taxpayer dollars rather than revenue they produce themselves.

Each of us has to demand a state legislature that sets priorities…the correct priorities…and keeps them. Of the Shoals area’s most recently elected state officials, only Tim Melson seems to have not had some hobby horse to ride or axe to grind. Props to Dr. Melson!

Now, to you others: Can you at least pretend to care about the financial condition of our state? You have until February to perfect your game face.


Besides the budget, which should certainly be the top priority, our local delegation needs to address:

* State Certificate of Need Laws

* The state’s continued involvement in the retail sale of liquor.

* The legislature’s extremely annoying habit of taking up valuable time by reading into the record commendations for every constituent who so much as passes his driver’s exam. (If a valued citizen passes away, we can see mentioning the good works he/she did in life. What we can’t see is commending each and every high school or college jock who gets his/her name in the local paper—isn’t that reward enough for such accomplishments?)


Friday, November 27, 2015

Florence Owes UNA Parking Spaces?/Billy Hammock

We've just read another "You Said It" in which the commenter declared the City of Florence owed UNA students a place to park if the university decided to rent storefronts for classrooms. Really?

Let's see how that would work. Florence tears out meters, installs UNA parking signs on X number of spaces...then UNA fails to rent the space the next year. That's just one scenario. There are actually worse ones.

For the record, Florence budgets thousands of dollars for UNA each year. Nice, huh? We're not saying that the university doesn't deserve the funding; we're saying that the city does support the local university. UNA students don't do a very good job parking in approved university spots. How good would they be about parking in designated spots downtown?


We're not endorsing anyone yet in the race for Lauderdale County License Commissioner,but we wish to commend local businessman Billy Hammock. Why?

Hammock is the first candidate to be interviewed who DIDN'T state he deserved the job because a relative of his had previously filled the position. Ah, Alabama politics! Making Chicago look good...


Many of us yesterday...


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

"You Said It?" Really?

A recent “You Said It” decried self check outs at Walmart. They took away jobs from human beings. Yes, all automation takes away jobs from humans; however, new technology ostensibly leads the way to increased jobs in other fields.

We’ve always been bemused by those who want to go backward in time instead of forward. How would it be if all washing machines were outlawed? Would the “You Said It” commenter like having to take his/her washing to a laundry where others were employed to do this task for him/her and then charge for it? We think not. Yet we have no doubt there were those 100 years ago who decried the advent of automatic washers.

Related Post: Bring Back Florence Wagon Works?


We all know what tomorrow is. We suggest we all be thankful for the blessings of God, including automatic washers and self checkouts.


Question: Does the atheist thank Publix for his Thanksgiving Dinner? Or maybe Heavenly Ham? Inquiring minds and all…



Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Eleven54? Might Be a Matter of Taste...

There's a new business at the Seven Points intersection in North Florence. We had received a few highly critical e-mails regarding the shop before we actually saw the "renovation" to the old drive-thru eatery, carpet store, plus-size dress shop, specialty restaurant, bakery. We're using the term renovation very gingerly here.

We're all for local businesses, but this one reminded us of the now defunct Rusty Dime in Muscle eyesore. Sorry.We calls it as we sees it. We've seen better looking jury-rigging in Little Guatemala in Russellville, tin and all.

If anyone is extremely concerned, the store may be violating some building codes; it's worth the effort to find out. If not, the owners of the next business to locate there will take down the debris that's been nailed to the outside of the building soon enough. Nothing seems to last over five years there.


We now have an answer to the question concerning the Jarmon Lane arrest by Lawrence County authorities. We're waiting for permission to publish the details.



Monday, November 23, 2015

Another View of "Equine Therapy"

A Guest Blog from a Regular Reader:

I read with angst the recent Shoalanda Speaks article about the “Equine Therapy” and want to present a first-hand testimony, as our 16 year old daughter is a client of hers. To start with, here’s a few points about Animal Therapy: Studies have shown that non-verbal communication, assertiveness, creative thinking, problem solving and leadership are among the many skill sets that equine therapy help with. Children can receive so many positive benefits from Animal Assisted therapy. 

One study conducted in 2010 with children and therapy dogs found that the animals provide a social and emotional support system for the child, with assumptions that because the animal seems non-judgmental to the child, it is perceived as comforting, raises the child's self-esteem and makes it easier for the child to express themselves. 

Therapists rely on techniques such as monitoring a child’s behavior with animal, their tone of voice, and indirect interviewing. These techniques are used in order to gain information. Other benefits include releasing stress, increasing morale, increased calmness, decrease preoperative anxiety, improve patient outlook, reduce the need for preoperative medication, reduce fear and anxiety in patients with a psychiatric condition. After several years of stressful events in our lives, we started searching for treatment for our daughter to help her cope with issues that most adults couldn’t handle, much less a 14-16 year old. 

We started with her pediatrician and went to a Licensed Psychologist in Madison for nearly a year. This psychologist declared her “healed” from her depression and anxieties, when only two weeks prior, was recommending a psychiatrist and medication. Then witnessing our daughter slowly slide deeper into depression and higher anxieties, we decided to try Equine Therapy one time to see how she like it. 

The magic between some people and animals is truly astounding. And the stuffiness of sitting in a counselor’s office can be very intimidating, cold and impersonal. Our daughter has always had a passion for horses, and we have known the operator of Equine Therapy for quite some time. She has now been going for several months, at least twice a month, sometimes more if she is having a particularly bad day or week. She has NEVER shoveled ANYTHING, NEVER cleaned ANYTHING. The closest thing to “work” is brushing down the horses. 

They work together with these horses, who are rescues, getting them acclimated to people. Last week they worked on getting a lead rope & halter on a horse that has never had one on. To see the immediate change in our daughter’s disposition after playing with those horses for an hour is truly remarkable. She comes home relaxed, happy & smiling. Her entire demeanor is different for several days following. She always talks about what lesson the horses taught her each trip. The life lessons she’s bringing home are always very touching and opens up new avenues for us to discuss life’s issues with her.

If there is an outlet we can benefit from to keep our child from having to take medication, you better believe we are going to support it. So from these parents, we’ll take this “un-licensed” Equine Therapist over a Licensed anything, any day. She has truly been a God send to us, and we thank God every day to have her in our lives.



Sunday, November 22, 2015

Jeremy Williams Gets Only Felony Murder?!

Jeremy Williams, a man who had no job but did have domestic violence convictions, kills another man by shooting him once and stabbing him 68 times. He then disposes of the body by attaching it to cinder blocks and dumping it off a bridge. His punishment? At most it will be Life With the Possibility of Parole.

Williams stole from his victim, Brioni Rutland, making his crime a capital offense. The jury could have convicted the Florence man for that crime, but chose a lesser one. Their rationale? We have no idea.

We do know that in Limestone County Joel Moyers unintentionally (he claimed) fired into a moving truck, hit someone he didn't know, someone he said he didn't mean to hurt, and was convicted of Capital Murder. Rhyme or reason? There is none.

Well, none if we don't consider the "who you know" angle...



Saturday, November 21, 2015

No Drug Arrests?

From a reader:

A Lawrence county man drives to Colbert County to trade stolen items for Crack Cocaine. Lawrence County law enforcement arrests the man IN Colbert County on Jarmon Lane and NO arrests are listed on those he was getting drugs from?

Now, would a junkie lie? Yep. Usually it is to get OUT of trouble, not to get in deeper. Would someone trade Cocaine for stolen merchandise? Yep. Is this a problem in Colbert County? Yep.

Obviously, "Sheriff" Williamson was just kidding when he campaigned that he was going to get rid of drugs in Colbert County. Wonder why he is ignoring them. (Many years past, bootlegging was the issue in Colbert County because the bootleggers just "greased" the right hands. Dejavu?)

While drugs are rampant in Colbert County, it ranks up there with the lack of animal control by the "Sheriff".

His campaign promises were obviously like all his marriage proposals - EMPTY LIES.

I believe Pinocchio Williamson has a problem telling the truth.


We don't know the circumstances of the above arrest. The dealers could be included in a larger planned drug bust. We are happy to publish readers' comments--even when they damn a candidate we supported. We look forward to some official answers soon.



Friday, November 20, 2015

Lyndsey Brooke Grindol Was Intended Victim

Stories erupted across the Internet last week about a grandmother who wanted to put out a hit on the mother of her son's child. Who was the mother?

While we don't think much of Grindol's parenting, we don't condone a hit, no matter how horrible the intended victim may be. Court records show that Grindol, now an EMT in Athens, was never prosecuted due to conflicting evidence on how her child's arm was broken.

Now Grindol has custody of the child. Let's hope for the best...and pray.



Thursday, November 19, 2015

Who Refers Patients to "Equine Therapy?"

Since we did an expose' on Angel Gieske, we've received comments on several other counselors who are no longer licensed. We have decided not to use the name of one such individual at this time, but we do have readers who are seeking information about her involvement in "Equine Therapy." This former counselor (license revoked March 23, 2014) who now operates as a "Life Coach" is reportedly owner of a Lauderdale County ranch where troubled youths are offered what's called equine therapy. Exactly what is this particular type of therapy?

From a reader: She has now been taking troubled kids from our area to her Farm located on Savannah Hwy in Florence and using these kids to clean her barns and horse stalls as,a way to,counseling and coaching them in life lessons to,"clean up their lives " !!! I wonder why she isn't cleaning up her own Mess instead of using these kids for Child Labor and I want to know what agencies are approving this???

We are assuming the youths who are referred to the Equine Therapy program are done so by the Lauderdale family court system and DHR. Several readers wanted to know if this violated child labor laws. We doubt that it does, but we would love to hear from anyone who has more detailed info on this.



Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Coming Home?/Blog Index

Ashley Fawn Greenhill, the lone remaining incarcerated accomplice of Ronald Weems in the murder of Amanda Taylor, will end her sentence on Friday. A third co-conspirator of Weems finished her sentence several days earlier than anticipated, apparently due to having some lost Correctional Incentive Time restored.


We have published our petition to rename Pocket Park in North Florence in honor of deceased businessman Carmel D. Olive. We hope that each of you will take a few seconds to sign the request.  The park is now a jewel in the neighborhood’s crown and would be a fitting memorial for Mr. Olive.

We noticed that one featured petition on Change. Org asked Sec. of State John Kerry to save humanity. We won’t hold our breath on that one, but a change you can ensure is memorializing Mr. Olive in the local community. You may not be able to save the world, but you can aid in holding the block.


We’ve received some input on our best and worst blogs/stances over the past seven years; however, some have asked us to restore the blog index to our sidebar in order to make surfing past blogs easier. We’ve done just that and await your input on the topics we’ve covered over the past years.


Links: Please remember that when we publish links to other sites, we have no power to edit the material in these articles. If you thought the “homosexualist” article was inane or wanted to comment on a certain career criminal, we’re unable to accommodate your requests.

While on the subject of sociopathic criminals, please remember that these individuals are public property in almost every sense of the word. Simply reporting on a latest arrest is not libelous nor is linking such an article. Don’t want to be the object of ridicule? Don’t commit a crime. Pretty simple, isn’t it?



Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Should We Expect Answers? A Guest Blog

Chad Holden is not going to answer Mr. Modas' questions. As a Lauderdale County School Board member and MSHS principal, he should respond in a timely manner to anyone requesting information, the same applies to all elected or appointed officials. If you were to review Mr. Holden's campaign platform and promises, one would have to ask where the published findings are from his "task force" that he touted as one of his accomplishments that warranted election to the Lauderdale School Board. Perhaps Mr. Holden needs to remember some of his past transgressions and his demands for answers from other elected officials.

Mr. Modas, you might want to consider a formal request for information. The freedom of information act might be a good means to obtain records on who paid for a "work phone" that enabled Coach Chris Balentine to carry out an (censored).. Keep in mind, those texts can be obtained as well which may be a part of divorce court in time. Heaven forbid if his sick wife were to be killed in one of his drunken rages. Then a murder trial will surely expose the answers that otherwise are not forthcoming.

LED billboards:

The principal of each school that has advertisers on campus gets the money from the advertisement of the bill board for their "principal account". Money is spent completely at the principal's discretion - and as evident in the hiring of Kevin Davis and the "punishment" of Chris Balentine. No consultation with or oversight by the M.S. Board.

There again, one needs to ask, who does have oversight of activities in and around MS school campuses. It hasn't been too long ago that pictures were plastered on school websites of the youth minister at Highland Park Baptist hugging students at the flag pole and other activities.

All in the faMily.

Leslie M. Shoals


We regret the necessity of censoring part of the above guest blog; however, until the public adjudication of some of these issues, we felt it best. Comments welcome.



Monday, November 16, 2015

Steve Modas Calls Out Chad Holden

From the Wife Beaters Should Not Be Allowed to Be Teachers Page:

Chad Holden has still not gotten back with me. These questions still remain unanswered . I never thought he would. Chad Holden is the most self centered person you will ever meet. He's principal of Muscle Shoals High School and on the School Board in Lauderdale County... I think he thinks he is too good to answer my questions... These are the questions I would like you to answer Chad Holden...I would like to know if you we're consulted in the decision to only give coach Balentine a 5 day suspension.... The news articles I read said that the superintendent consulted with the athletic director but your never mentioned you . As principal were you consulted ? If not why not ? Do you agree with his slap on the wrist punishment for breaking his wife's nose ? Does it bother you ? Do you think he should be around students without first at least getting some help ? Do you think what he did was worse than a girl coming to class with her hair dyed red ? You told her she couldn't come back until her hair was dyed back to its natural color ... You don't think your Coach should have had to wait until he had anger management classes ? You probably won't answer this and I guess you have that right but I'm going to make sure everyone knows that you won't answer these questions if you don't. My last question is are you concerned and will you take responsibility if he ever lost it at school like he did Halloween night and hurts a student and if you do think it's ok for him to continue teaching will you resign if he ever does ?

Editor's Note: Holden is not running for re-election in Lauderdale County.


We're still waiting for info on just who was paying for Chris Balentine's "work" cell phone that was at the center of the melee Halloween night...


A reader from Muscle Shoals has asked who profits from the advertising revenue produced from the LED reader-board at the high school. We have no idea. Anyone know? We do know that one advertiser is Adam Rue Auto Sales.


Sunday, November 15, 2015

New Info in Joel Moyers' Case?/Murder in Muscle Shoals

We understand that there will soon be either a news conference or press release relating to the late Joel Moyers' conviction of Capital Murder in Limestone County. We'll update here when new info is available.


After we had commented on the article concerning Moyers' death, T. D. Murray, a witness at the trial and father to Bronwen Murray, Brandon Hydrick's girlfriend, called us a "troll." Really? Simply because we corrected the weapon that killed Hydrick and listed Brandon's three misdemeanors committed the night of his death.

Hydrick's BAC was almost three times over the limit; this wasn't his first rodeo in the wonderful world of intoxication. The fact that he hadn't passed out indicates he was used to this type of drunkenness. Sad. Perhaps his girlfriend thought she could reform him. They always think that and they're never successful.


We recently published Murder in Muscle Shoals, but we don't want you to purchase it. No, seriously, we want you to be aware that the book contains accounts of 13 local murders dating back 50 years, but all have been published in Shoals Crime. Our ad is mainly aimed at those who visit here infrequently or wish to give a Kindle gift for Christmas. In that case, please purchase it and enjoy!



Saturday, November 14, 2015

No Justice for Joel Moyers?

Joel Moyers died on Thursday before his appeals process was even begun. We don't count the first appeal which is always heard before the original trial judge--another strange Alabama law that keeps us in the dark ages. We were especially looking forward to more information on alleged juror misconduct at the trail. Will we ever have it?

It's possible. Moyers' family can possibly continue with lawsuits against the state. It's a risky and expensive business. We have to ask if the Murray/Hydrick families now feel they have their revenge?


The world lost a great musician with the death of Allen Toussaint earlier this week:



Friday, November 13, 2015

Connie Ridgeway/Erin Blalock

We've received several questions about the murder of Connie Ridgeway of Rogersville. Any info we have is from a source at the Lauderdale County Sheriff's office which was called in to assist Rogersville officers in the investigation. Nothing here is written in stone.

* Ridgeway was stabbed three times and her throat slit

* There had not been a murder in Rogersville since 1957?

Our research shows a murder in the Rogersville police jurisdiction in 1990. A woman stabbed her newborn infant to death with scissors. So, at this point all information is suspect. We do understand that, speaking of "suspect," there is none in Ms. Ridgeway's murder.


An upbeat story from a reader (for a change):

Erin Blalock wife of Police Officer Shane Blalock ran a half marathon (13.1 miles) pushing this little boy who attends the Cerebral Palsy Center in Tuscumbia. This run was a fund raiser for UCP and Aiden with them help of Erin walked across the finish line at the end.. That's what heroes are made of!



Thursday, November 12, 2015

Football Before Murder?/Wife Beaters Page

From a faithful reader:

Have you see the candlelight memorial that has been organized? It's Saturday at 6pm at Heritage Park.

Here is something very important.  On the day Connie Ridgeway was murdered (Oct 23rd), Chief Terry Holden was in Tuscaloosa for the Alabama football game.  He received the call and did not come back to Rogersville until Sunday, Oct. 25th.  This is quite possibly the first murder in the town limits and the chief law enforcement officer chooses to watch Alabama play football.  He is currently running for Lauderdale County Board of Education. He enjoys titles, but not the responsibility that goes along with it.  I don't know a chief around that wouldn't have turned their vehicle around and come back to town after hearing of a murder in their town.  I love Alabama football myself, but it doesn't take priority over the death of one of our citizens.  He is not fit to serve."



Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veterans Day 2015

For all those Doughboys out there, with a special nod to Matt Osborne:

The song may be 100 year old, but it's never out of date.

Happy Veterans Day!

Shoalanda & Staff

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Three Wise Readers Comment on Coach

Reader No. 1: Alabama needs more laws like it needs more legislators, but there should be one that prevents two drunk parents from calling on an underage child to drive them home when they're falling down drunk. What kind of memories will this young man have?

Reader No. 2: An awful lot of effort is being expended on a certain Muscle Shoals football coach in an apparent effort to make an incident of domestic violence 'go away'. Are such efforts usually afforded all others accused of domestic violence? Shouldn't the actions of a college-educated individual charged with the education of our children be held to a higher standard?

Reader No. 3: In regards to the 5 days suspension. Something that is being missed is that Balentine pleading guilty and being sentenced is an active sentence till he fulfills the terms of the pre-trial diversion.

Which means, until he completes the intervention for domestic violence/anger management and alcohol abuse intervention programs, he is under a conviction.

There would be grave consequences for a school system if, during this period of treatment, he were to violate the terms of his pre-trial diversion or have a fit of rage on or off school campus or during school sanctioned activities. Should that happen, anyone subject to being present or a victim of his illness can, and should, take everyone to court that has a part in his being on the public payroll and around our children.

The scuttle butt around town is how Lindsey publicly showed how insignificant Holden is. His comment about talking to attorney (Huntsville firm) and the AD to come to a decision...



Monday, November 9, 2015

Why Do They Stay?

From a friend who chooses to remain anonymous:

One of the first things people always ask after incidents (Chris Balentine) like this is 'Why do they stay?' Here is how my friend explained it to me:

* There seems to be a special 'knack' that spousal abusers have for choosing their victims. Abusers are ALMOST ALWAYS the victims of abuse at some point earlier in their lives. Their victims share a similar past, usually having grown up in households where abuse was present and portrayed as 'normal'. Perhaps the abuser is able to pick up on this 'similarity' and pursues such a victim with the ultimate goal being that of having TOTAL CONTROL over their victim's life. Unwitting witnesses to family abuse have a DEEP NEED to be safe and have someone to trust. 

* The abuser usually begins the relationship as a 'Prince Charming'. His co-workers, friends and the general public always say 'What a great guy he is.' This is all a carefully choreographed charade.

* Not long after the abuser 'sets the hook' in his victim, things will take an ugly turn. The victim will slowly be 'cut off' from family and friends. What contact IS allowed will be minimal and closely supervised. The victim's cell phone, if any, will be scrutinized daily for curious numbers and texts.
^ When the abuse begins, and IT WILL begin, it will be 'something little' that 'sets the abuser off'. like '...not having dinner waiting when he gets home, or cooking the 'wrong' thing for supper, or a change in a hairdo, or......' See how CRAZY abusers are??? The victim, still thinking she has found her 'Prince Charming', won't see 'it' coming. It will usually begin as verbal abuse. The victim will be called 'stupid', 'worthless', and a host of other vile names unfit to print. But it WILL happen.

* Like the first verbal assault, the victim won't see the first physical assault coming, due to the abuser wanting to keep his victim 'off guard', plus the FACT that most spousal abusers are COWARDS. Par for the course for spousal abusers, the abuser will claim that the physical abuse is the VICTIM's fault. This scenario will play itself out often enough in the future that the victim will eventually begin to wonder if the abuse REALLY IS their fault.

* These cycle of events will continue, often with the victim 'pushing the abuser's buttons' until he snaps. This is in the false belief that, after an altercation, after some 'steam is let off', a 'momentary peace' can be had. This is a very risky 'game' that victims choose to play at this point. There are NO GUARANTEES that past incidents can be used as predictors for how future incidents will play out.

* By this time the abuser has often convinced the victim that 'no one will believe them', 'that they are a totally worthless individual', and that they will 'be killed', or their loved ones will be, if they seek outside help.

These are THE MAIN REASONS that so many acts of domestic violence go unreported. It was a combination of ALL of these reasons, and a few not mentioned, that convinced my friend NOT to leave an abusive relationship for over 20 years. My friend worked IN the court system and HAD ACCESS to IMMEDIATE help, but didn't seek it until it was almost too late.

She's one of the VERY lucky ones. She took a HUGE risk and confided in a friend. She got out.


Some thoughts from Shoalanda:

* We're not sure why the FB page we linked two days ago is down. Perhaps it was taken down by FB due to the threats and language from Muscle Shoals football players. We saw where one called a woman who posted a "low down f**king b***h." Nice, huh?

* We believe in giving credit where due. Muscle Shoals schools have the highest scholastic scores in the area. Props to them! Yet, the students who posted, apparently all football players, could barely compose a complete sentence. What's up with this?

* Several have asked how Chris Balentine can continue to coach with a domestic violence conviction? Easily--he is scheduled to complete anger management and alcohol abuse programs; when he does, he will have no record even though he pleaded guilty.



Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Chris Balentine Arrest Report

So much for he accidentally slung her against the wall...

The Report, redacted to remove names of sons:

Investigator: James Distanfano (?) 
Charges: Domestic Violence Third Degree-Assault (13A-6-132) 

On 11/2/2015 I received this report involving Mr. And Mrs. Balentine. I called Ms. Ballentine and asked her to come to OnePlace of the Shoals and talk to me about what happened Saturday night. Gina Balentine and her sister Greta Erwin came in and talked to be a few hours later. Ms. Balentine told me that she and her husband Christopher were at a Halloween party Saturday night and she seen some text messages on his work phone from another woman telling him that she loved him. When they got ready to leave, they called their 17 year old son XXX to come pick them up because they both had been drinking. While waiting on XXX to come get them they began arguing about the text messages and the fact that she though he was cheating on her. Ms. Balentine said that after XXX got there and picked them up, they continued to argue on the way home. When they got to their house and got out of the truck, Mr. Balentine got in Ms. Balentine’s face and punched her in the nose which busted it. Their son XXX witnessed the assault and ran inside to get his older brother XXX. XXX and XXX brought Ms. Balentine inside and began cleaning her face up because it was covered in blood. XXX told XXX to get their father out of there before he hurt him so XXX took him to their grandmother’s house. XXX said that his mother is in very bad health and has been having seizures lately so he was afraid after seeing his mother’s face so he called his aunt Greta Erwin to come to the house and help him. Great came to the house and the two of them took Ms. Balentine to the ECM emergency room where it was determined that she had a broken nose.

We'e going to make only a few comments:

1. This report was sent to us unsolicited, but we felt it worth publishing.

2. Work phone? Does this mean the citizens of Muscle Shoals are paying for this phone which Balantine uses to communicate with females other than his wife?

3. The report indicates the actual date of the assault was October 31st, not 30th, as we had seen published elsewhere and used in our blog.



Saturday, November 7, 2015

Wife Beater Central: Look Quick--Before It's Taken Down!

Sorry for the profanity, but we're making an exception here. Want more?

Remember: You gotta be a football hero to make it with the beautiful girls!


Our take? This is just our speculation, but the beating was on Friday October 30th. Was the good ol' boy coach celebrating making the playoffs with a perfect record by bending his elbow some? Alcohol being so good for marriage and all! We also have to ask how many times this has happened when his wife has not been beaten so badly she had to go to the hospital?


Friday, November 6, 2015

Yes, All States Record Births as Legitimate v. Illegitimate

We've had some very interesting conversations this past week. It's amazing what some people don't know about government, social issues, etc. Yes, all states still record births by race and catalogue their legitimacy. The most recent records for the U.S. are from 2013.

The purpose? Per this chart:

Objectives—This report presents 2013 data on U.S. births according to a wide variety of characteristics. Data are presented for maternal age, live-birth order, race and Hispanic origin, marital status, attendant at birth, method of delivery, period of gestation, birth weight, and plurality. Birth and fertility rates are presented by age, live-birth order, race and Hispanic origin, and marital status. Selected data by mother’s state of residence and birth rates by age and race of father also are shown. Trends in fertility patterns and maternal and infant characteristics are described and interpreted.

If you don't like it,talk to the government, not us.


For what it's worth, some states kept what are called "Bastardy Files" as recently as 1977. These actually contained the names of mothers and alleged fathers. As far as we know, this has not been done in Alabama for quite some time. Bastardy births, as they are called, are reported to the state department of health, but no names are included in the report--just numbers.



Thursday, November 5, 2015

Tourism Tax Money/Comments?

Local tourism is funded by lodging tax. Anyone who rents a hotel/motel room pays an added tax; ergo, most of this tax money does come from outside home counties. Exceptions would be those who had to leave their homes due to damage, etc., those housing out of town guests, and of course (ahem) those who can't find room in the Brooks High parking lot.

These funds remain with the tourism office/board to spend as they see fit. For some time it has been rumored that the City of Florence wants to confiscate a substantial sum of this money. In the past, we have agreed that this was a bad idea. Now, we're not so sure. Our board seems to have exercised some very poor judgment recently. We understand some are readying legal action against the board for removing cameras from their meetings. We say: Go for it!.


Apologies for typing in the name Roy Moore yesterday instead of Terry A. Moore. We've corrected the post title, but have no idea how to correct the URL in Blogger. We appreciate any input since we often have this problem with typos, etc.


Someone recently accused this blog of not accepting comments. This is totally untrue. We do ask that commenters use a name. It can be Bugs Bunny for all we care--it's simply to help readers keep track of who says what.

We do know of two local WordPress sites that no longer take comments due to the spam problem with that platform. We don't have that trouble with Blogger, so fire away!



Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Judge Terry A. Moore on Grandparents' Rights? Baloney!

In a recent Alabama Court of Civil Appeals opinion, Weldon v. Ballow, on October 30, 2015, the Alabama Civil Court of Appeals struck down the Alabama Grandparent Visitation Act (GVA) as being unconstitutional. The GVA allows a trial court to proceed to making a child's best interest determination without first making a determination of parental unfitness.

The GVA as written allowed a judge to make different determination over that of a fit parent just because the judge may not like the parental decision. This alone is not a government compelling interest according to clearly established law of the US Supreme Court since 1927.

Contrary to how the Alabama family courts typically rule in disputed cases about children, I completely agree with Judge Donaldson of the Court of Civil Appeals in the Weldon opinion that:

"No matter how seemingly beneficial the end result may be, the government cannot impair, impede, or curtail one person's fundamental right solely for the benefit of another person's interest. The government can do so only when a compelling governmental, not individual, interest has been established. "

The GVA required fit parents to be drawn into court, to incur legal expenses, and to defend against their fundamental right to make decisions concerning their children; and puts fit parents in the same category as sex offenders and other classes of people against whom the state does have a compelling interest to protect children.

The US Supreme Court has determined our constitution presumes parents act in their children's best interests, and absent first a judicial determination of parental unfitness, by clear and convincing evidence, the state has no compelling interest in ordering a parent to do anything.

The Weldon case is the second time the GVA has been struck down as unconstitutional by the Alabama Appellate Courts. Interestingly, just a day or so before the first ruling in Ex parte ERG (2011) the Alabama Legislature amended the GVA. The 2011 amendments were written by, or input was given by, justice Terry A. Moore of the Court of Civil Appeals. Justice Moore is the primary author of the Weldon opinion.

I fully support grandparents and parents being active in children's lives. However, any GVA that the Legislature passes will only be a feel good bill. Unless, the Act mandates courts first make a judicial determination of parental unfitness. This brings into question whether a GVA is needed, at all. There are already neglect and dependency laws on the books for the courts to make such a proper determination when parents are unfit.

Why do we have a sitting justice in the Alabama Appellate Court writing laws for the Legislature?

Alabama Civil Court of Appeals Justice Terry A. Moore either wrote or helped write the 2011 amendments to the GVA that were recently determined unconstitutional.

Justice Moore also either wrote or helped write a revised GVA presented to the Legislature in March 2015, which didn't pass. The revisions were made because most everyone with knowledge of law and the GVA knew the 2011 amendments didn't change the act to bring it in compliance to make it constitutional. The 2015 GVA bill will likely be brought forth again in the 2016 Legislative session.

Justice Moore is on the Alabama Law Institute family law committee, which is made up primarily of attorneys and judges. Mostly operating behind closed doors, they draft laws with self approval and submit the same to the legislature for passage. Often, these bills are not designed to protect the rights of the citizens in Alabama.

Justice Moore not only issued the Weldon opinion, but three months ago he upheld a trial court order that ordered GV over the objection of a parent. The Alabama Supreme Court refused to hear the case.

The citizens of Alabama should have no faith in our courts with this prejudicial and unethical conduct on going by a sitting justice on the Court of Civil Appeals. Justice Moore is issuing legal opinions in disputed cases about the very laws he wrote or helped write, and then presented to the Legislature by the Alabama Law Institute to be enacted into law. This also violates the separation of powers of the Judicial and Legislative branches under the US and Alabama Constitutions.

~ Mark Davis


We totally agree with Mr. Davis. Parents,unless unfit, should have the last word on whom their children spend time with. 


The Sherwin-Williams Police were recently called to Petersville. Upon arrival at Dirty Dawg Grooming, they immediately contacted PETA. A PETA representative stated:

While dogs do not have the same vision as humans, they still see...and feel...and their eyes can be easily hurt. This is one of the worst cases of color abuse I've seen in 30 years.



Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Equal Enforcement?/Prisoner Abuse?

First, the 'good': This past Friday's 'Trunk or Treat' in downtown Sheffield was AWESOME! There were 4 blocks of participants. Yes. 4 BLOCKS. Every conceivable costume was present. The happy, smiling children were the best part.

Now for the 'bad': Several individuals have reported to me that they were told, rather rudely, by Sheffield police officers, that they were 'not allowed to have their dogs (even on leashes) at the event.' I personally witnessed one of these incidents take place. I also witnessed numerous other dog owners that WEREN'T confronted by any law enforcement personnel. Those individuals that were confronted were in their 20s and early 30s. Older dog owners weren't bothered.

Now for the $64 million question(s): The Halloween event took place on PUBLIC PROPERTY. The dog owners that were told to remove their dogs from the event HAD THEIR DOGS ON LEASHES. WHAT city ordinance did these dog owners violate and IF any ordinance WAS violated, WHY wasn't the enforcement done EQUALLY?

J. Redmon


Why should it be public knowledge just where a prisoner is housed? It's not just for the safety of the public, but the prisoner's safety also. Think of the small town police chief arresting his daughter's working class boyfriend. 

The unfortunate young man trips coming out of a coffee shop, and the chief arrests him for PI, open container (no matter it contained only coffee), and resisting arrest (he actually asked what was going on). Once at the jail, he's beaten or sent to a mental health facility and his family never hears from him again.

Now, you see why such things are governed by the Sunshine Law?


BTW, for the vocabulary challenged, the definition of kidnapping is to seize a person by force or fraud. Most people don't understand the latter part of that definition



Monday, November 2, 2015

A Copy of the Infamous "Ashley Nelson" Video? Yep, We've Got One!

So, Rob Adolph Carnegie has taken down all copies of the videos from previous tourism board meetings. Oh, I should have said President & CEO Rob Adolph Carnegie, since that is what he prefers to be called. No matter, we have a copy of the infamous video. It's not readily available to us, but we will have it up and running on YouTube at some point, rest assured.

In the mean time, if anyone has a copy (No. 99, maybe?) we would appreciate it being sent to us. Let's see, what shall we call our new YouTube site? The Home of President & CEO & Seeker of Truth at Shoalanda Speaks? A bit long, but it has a nice ring to it.


We have to ask about this Chief Executive Officer thing. Is Alison Stanfield the Chief Financial Officer? Who is the Chief Operating Officer? Maybe Adolph is all of them, eh?


Oh, hey, this is good. Adolph says he has a place in country music. Who knew? Well, it has to be true. His website says so:

Funny, there's no mention of his real know, the one Florence is paying him over 120K a year for.


From a reader on Kneeland Hibbett, currently under indictment for child solitication:

Here are a few things I’ve noticed recently...

-The Hibbett marital home at 1914 Monticello Road, Florence (this is also where Missy resides at the present time) (I’m sure Missy Holman- Hibbett got this property as part of a divorce settlement) has been listed on the real estate market see this link:

-There is no Hibbett-Holman divorce file publicly available.

-All billboards advertising for Hibbett patient care have disappeared.

-The sign on the Dr. Hicks Blvd. empty lot touting a new Hibbett PC location to include some type of community center is gone.

-The large sign on top of the downtown office Hibbett-Patient Care building (across from TD isn’t that funny and no coverage) is no longer there.

-Missy Holman has dropped the Hibbett name.

-The name Hibbett has been scrubbed from the Hibbett Patient Care website.
See here:



Sunday, November 1, 2015

Contraband and Work Release

The following information was provided by an individual formerly assigned to a local work release program:

As with anything, if enough determination, creativity, and $$ are used, ANYthing available on the street can be had in a correctional facility. It's just far easier to obtain in a work release-type environment. Unless THOROUGH inmate searches are done IMMEDIATELY upon entry to the work release site, there is virtually NO CHANCE of such behavior ending. In the past there have rarely been enough staff on site to search each and every inmate when they enter the building. Contraband (drugs, cell phones, etc), has been found in outside food brought in (inside sealed boxes, etc), inside confiscated cell phones, inside drink containers, inside boots and articles of clothing, inside ink pens, etc. The hiding places and the creativity of the inmates and others involved is limitless. And then there are the 'other' hiding places that require 'gloving up' to search. There is NO WAY such invasive searches of male inmates can be, or will be, done with only female staff on site. However, there IS 'one thing' that WOULD help: Every single time contraband (regardless of what it may be) is found on an inmate, CHARGES of 'introducing contraband into a correctional facility' MUST BE FILED.

But as long as the inmates' creativity and determination is GREATER THAN that of the administration, board members, and staff, the availability of contraband in work release programs will continue unabated.