Thursday, December 31, 2015

Sheffield/Inspiration Landing: If Beale Street Could Talk...

The City of Sheffield has hired a long time Parks and Recreation employee to replace terminated administrative assistant Tammy Holden. The council’s pick, Kalyn Dorton, will report to superintendent Bradley Bump whose wife reportedly works for Parks and Recreation. It’s a small world…

Also in Sheffield, there are those concerned about John Elkington’s track record. The Tennessee developer plans to create a housing/recreation complex in Sheffield to be called Inspiration Landing. Sure, why not? It couldn’t go any more wrong than DreamVision, could it?


It's been five years since the City of Memphis washed its hands of John Elkington:

To paraphrase a certain wag on a local forum: They wouldn't have fallen for this in Zip City.


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Sexual Harassment at UNA?

Bill Cosby still has his supporters…somewhere out there. No, we don’t think all of his victims used the best judgment in their dealings with him. Yes, there are those who think this is an excuse for unwanted sexual contact. No, it isn't.

For those who think Bill’s totally innocent, just how many loving family men do you know who consider Hugh Hefner their best friend and regularly frequent the playboy mansion? What’s really sad is that Cosby could have found numerous willing women, but he chose to drug those who were unwilling. Some like it dopey, we guess.

How does this apply to us locally? We’re still very interested in those female UNA students who anonymously reported in a recent climate survey that they were the recipients of unwanted sexual contact from professors and support staff. We’ll be happy to publish anonymous accounts should they be sent to us. By anonymous, we mean we will not name either victim or perp, but will publish the information sent us without any names.


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Trapped RVs, Trapped Swans, Trapped Taxpayers

Our guest blog on recent flooding at McFarland produced some questions.

* What is flood stage level? 18 foot river crest

* Tourism building is flooded at what level? 22 foot river crest

* How many times has it reached 22 feet since 1973? 10

* What is current level (or level Friday)? Article didn’t give exact figure

* Did it reach 1973 level? Not that we know of, but it still crested at 22 feet or more, or the height of the tourism office. This has happened 10 times since 1973--that's not counting more minor flooding to the roadways that seems to happen annually. In other words, the river doesn’t have to crest at 30 feet to produce flooding in the park.

A side note, Rob Adolph Carnegie says he wants “to mitigate this kind of thing from happening.” We’re not sure what the word “mitigate” might mean in Canada, but in Alabama it means “lessen in severity.” We would like to see flooding in the area totally stopped, but Carnegie not being God or even Bob Baron we’re pretty sure it just isn’t going to happen. BTW, we’re told that David Abramson was the driving force on the board who wanted the new tourism office located in McFarland.

Wherever Debbie Wilson is at this moment, we’re pretty sure she’s high, dry, and laughing…


We hear at least two RVs are still trapped in the McFarland campground. One owner was absent when the evacuation notice was given and says he’s yet to be contacted over the park’s closing so suddenly.


Returning to Spring Park, it seems the new pair of swans, still in isolation, had to be removed due to flooding. Will this mean the quarantine period will have to start over? Since their wings are clipped, perhaps the enchanting fowl will attempt to hitch a ride to Lauderdale County? No, perhaps Athens is a better choice with its Big Spring Park, a park seemingly free of controversy.

Perhaps that’s why Mute Swans were chosen for the Tuscumbia Park. Would Trumpeter Swans have constantly narked on the muskrats?


Monday, December 28, 2015

Flooding Closes New Tourism Office (Rob says "Meh")

From a reader:

Regarding the recent TimesDaily article regarding the tourism office, McFarland Park, and the inevitable flooding that will impact this building for years, and years, and years to come. Data (or facts produced by scientists) from the National Weather service hydrology pages shows the following chart of historical "floods" in McFarland park. Keep in mind flood stage is 18 feet in the park. The water this week was around 22 feet, and has caused the tourism office to CLOSE.

* Recent Crests
(1) 21.55 ft on 07/12/2013
(2) 21.74 ft on 05/08/2013
(3) 22.18 ft on 01/18/2013
(4) 18.40 ft on 01/30/2012
(5) 18.30 ft on 09/07/2011
(6) 20.90 ft on 04/29/2011
(7) 22.00 ft on 03/12/2011
(8) 21.21 ft on 05/03/2010
(9) 19.74 ft on 02/10/2010
(10) 19.18 ft on 01/28/2010
(11) 18.08 ft on 12/15/2009
(12) 19.34 ft on 12/13/2009
(13) 22.43 ft on 05/08/2009
(14) 20.24 ft on 05/04/2009
(15) 19.64 ft on 01/11/2009
(16) 18.42 ft on 12/13/2008
(17) 25.98 ft on 12/10/2004
(18) 20.58 ft on 12/01/2004
(19) 19.07 ft on 11/26/2004
(20) 18.80 ft on 09/22/2004
(21) 20.75 ft on 09/20/2004
(22) 20.01 ft on 09/19/2004
(23) 20.53 ft on 09/19/2004
(24) 20.44 ft on 02/09/2004
(25) 25.53 ft on 05/07/2003
(26) 21.94 ft on 02/18/2003
(27) 19.16 ft on 02/19/2001 (P)
(28) 20.40 ft on 04/22/1998
(29) 21.50 ft on 03/03/1998
(30) 25.53 ft on 03/28/1994
(31) 20.83 ft on 03/27/1993
(32) 25.12 ft on 12/03/1991
(33) 27.58 ft on 12/23/1990
(34) 21.91 ft on 11/02/1989
(35) 23.81 ft on 05/04/1984
(36) 24.83 ft on 03/22/1980

(37) 20.21 ft on 03/06/1979
(38) 30.03 ft on 03/17/1973
(39) 20.82 ft on 01/10/1968
(40) 24.60 ft on 03/30/1965
(41) 28.00 ft on 02/13/1948
(42) 25.10 ft on 03/20/1899
(43) 32.50 ft on 03/19/1897

According to the Times Daily Article and board member Abramson:

"Members of the Florence-Lauderdale tourism staff are working from the Florence-Lauderdale Public Library, according to tourism board member David Abramson, who has been closely monitoring the park flooding situation.

“(The board) will be meeting after things return to normal and discuss a plan for this kind of thing happening in the future,” Abramson said. “This was totally unexpected. We haven’t had this kind of flooding since the early 1970s.* That building was built three feet above flood stage, and I don’t regret building it there. It’s a beautiful facility, and there’s much more traffic in that location. But we do have to get a plan.”

So 3 feet above flood stage would be 21 Feet, because the flood stage is 18 feet. Keep in mind this is for the BUILDING, NOT THE PARKING LOT! So if you cant park your car, you have to close the building anyways! THIS BUILDING WILL COST THE TAXPAYERS THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN THE LONG AND SHORT RUN! Look how many times the water has crested to 21 feet in the past. Even at flood stage they will be dealing with significant issues.

Another thing: Florence-Lauderdale Tourism President Rob Carnegie said he’s been pleased with the city’s handling of the situation.

“We’re seeing now that we need a plan to mitigate this kind of thing from happening in the future,” he said. “We’ll get a plan in place, looking at best practices and how other facilities along the river address this issue.”

This building is certainly not Carnegie's fault as he wasn't around when it was built, but the plan to mitigate this WAS TO NOT BUILD A MILLION DOLLAR FACILITY IN A FLOOD ZONE! The park IS the mitigation! That's why its a park! It floods!


As everyone knows, Shoalanda herself is around 104 years old. She remembers when the undeveloped McFarland Bottom regularly flooded. Then the city decided to construct a golf course there. Guess what? It regularly flooded. Who knew? Not the city apparently; however, Florence was more than willing to use flooding as an excuse to build still another golf course.

Now the new tourism office is up cripple creek without a mop. And David Abramson doesn't seem to be able to read flooding statistics... But maybe Robbie Baby will yodel for us while wearing his Canadian Mountie hat?


Sunday, December 27, 2015

Is a Work Place Affair Now All Right?

He took a position in the Shoals, leaving his home hundreds of miles away. He hadn’t been here long when his wife was diagnosed with a terminal illness. The community rallied round, especially after her death. One of his main sources of strength was his faithful secretary.

Yes, faithful secretary, but unfaithful wife. Her husband was boring—you know how it is. After the death and divorce were a substantial amount of time in the past, this couple wrote a letter to their home church that they were “dating.” They eventually married. After a few more years, the man retired from his public position.

What happened to this couple? We lost track, but we’d be willing to bet that after a few years the secretary/wife found her second husband as boring as her first.

That was over 20 years ago. What happens in today’s moral climate when a couple, each married to others, “fall in love” at work, very public work? A few years ago we saw what happened to an elected official who became embroiled in a similar affair. Surely this sort of thing in certain sectors is covered by a morals clause. No? Then may we suggest writing letters and making it clear that you vote.


Saturday, December 26, 2015

Spring Park Train Suffers Damage

From Tuscumbia Muskrat:

I'm assuming everyone was aware of yesterday's Flood Warning, well that is everyone but Joel Kendrick. Early this morning Spring Park's Train was well covered under the water. Our incompetent Park Manager neglected (again) to do his job until this morning. He tried to cover his butt by moving the train (engine) to higher ground after it had sit in the water since yesterday. So when the water and mud mix causes a $1,000+ in damages then I guess the "Friends of Tuscumbia" can step in to raise money for the repairs.

From Readers:

* The forecast for the Christmas Holidays was for lots of rain and probable flooding. It seems everyone knew this except for our P & R Director. For the many years the train had been in the park, probable flooding meant to take the train out of the station and park it on higher ground. It appears that this did not happen this year.

The engine was seen being taken out of the park Saturday morning. A mud line was seen about halfway up the boiler. How much damage was done to the locomotive? No cars were in sight. It was thought that the cars are still in the depot and probably under water.

THIS SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN. This could only happen with Joel Kendrick in full control of the park, and Bill Shoemaker the Mayor.. How much did his failure cost the city taxpayers this time?

* Nothing irritates me more than seeing something I helped build, fall to pieces. Today I witnessed the director of the Tuscumbia park and rec dept loading the 718 on to a roll back wrecker after it had been under water up to the running boards!! Thats the absolute worst thing that could have happened to the Tuscumbia Spring park train locomotive. How do you let a $150,000 investment get flooded? Five and a half years I ran and maintained all of the rides in the park, and not once did the train come anywhere close to getting wet! The Park and Rec Dept, Namely Joel Kendrick have let the park, Oakwood cem,and the depoup in town go to ****. I will say one thing, under the management of John McWilliams, this would have never happened!! #‎REPLACEJOELKENDRICK‬


Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas 2015

Things change, at least most things. Some things never change; one of them is our Creator who offered his son that we might have eternal life. 

Merry Christmas!

Shoalanda, Bailey Quarters, J. Redmon, L. Stone, Number 99, Cherry Pitts, & Prince

Thursday, December 24, 2015

What Price Heroin?

We’re told heroin might not be so cheap a drug after all. From a local independent journalist:

Heroin isn't cheap here. Like a 400% markup compared to large cities. .1 grams for $40 compared to .1 grams for $10. Its bitter sweet though because at that price addicts may as well stay on pharmaceutical because its guaranteed consistent quality and quantity. That is the flaw in heroin. The dope, outsode of being terribly addictive, is safe. You can live a perfectly normal life on opiates as long as you dont run out or OD. However when you are used to .3 of some 7% dope and suddenly there is some bags of 15% dope going around, you more than double your dose which could be lethal. I've heard horror stories of doctors cutting off their patients simply because they said something that offended the doc. What is the patient supposed to do? That is sick and evil. Cut off a patient who physically needs the medication over something they said.

How about those narcotic substitutes? If you want to get clean, how much will it cost you?

A local clinic has been advertising its services in combating drug addiction with suboxone. The ads in the Courier-Journal don’t use a name, and this has concerned some families who feel their loved ones are receiving substandard care. Perhaps the owners of the Lexington Clinic are just a little paranoid over misguided users who may target the clinic for a quick fix at one o’clock in the morning? Remember the pair who literally carted away the dumpster at the Sheffield methadone clinic?

The cost for one month’s treatment? $250.00…but it also includes counseling of some ilk. Perhaps one should ask if a facility makes money from patients who are hooked on drugs, does it really want those individuals to be free of addiction?

Suboxone is the standard treatment for many types of drug addiction and is supposedly tightly controlled. Yet this was one of the drugs John Wesley Akin was arrested for trafficking in Lauderdale County last year, along with heroin.

And honest citizens can’t even buy some sinus medicine without having to sign for it…


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

So This is the Result of Oil Spill Money?

So the state of Alabama has money left over from its BP oil spill settlement? And it’s going to be used in part to renovate a second governor’s mansion in Gulf Shores that has lain abandoned for 20 years? As some Montgomery pundits have pointed out, this is just as Gov. Bentley has lost the use of his beach house due to his divorce settlement. Assuming the work is done in less than a year, that would leave at least two years for Bentley to enjoy the renovated retreat. But, hey, remember that he chooses to receive only 1.00 per year in salary…and a much used private jet…and a very large personal staff…and… Well, at least he’s not Don Siegelman.

It’s been said that 60 years ago many Alabamians voted for James Folsom Sr. because he took to the radio to admit that he stole from the citizens of the state, and in his mind, and theirs, that admission made him an honest pol.

We’re pretty sure that’s not what makes one honest, but it’s hard to be sure. After all, how many honest office seekers are there for us to compare? We can unequivocally say that most pols in the state capital and many locally, would fit right in at the Ministry of Truth.


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

So Where Do You Get Your Heroin?

If you managed to read far enough down the front page of the TimesDaily recently, you learned of a Colbert County man who was arrested for heroin trafficking. He will also be facing federal gun charges.

Yet it’s the heroin arrest that is most interesting. We’re told that heroin is fairly cheap, hence the upswing in usage. If it’s that cheap, the profit must be in volume. How many heroin users do we have in the area? What do all these users do when they can’t get a fix? It takes time to get into rehab or to get a prescription for a substitute narcotic.

Oh, epiphany! They probably just track down someone in Lauderdale County Community Corrections to get their next fix…


Are all correctional institutions alike? Apparently not. We’ve been told that Limestone is run extremely well. Perhaps as many as two cell phones make it into the prison each year, and they’re soon confiscated.

Limestone is a medium security facility, so the correction officers obviously face challenges each day. Kudos to them—one in particular. We feel sure he owes his success to his lovely wife.


Monday, December 21, 2015

What Locals Want for Christmas?

The man with the white beard will be putting in an appearance in three days, so if you haven’t sent him your list, you’d better hurry. What do some prominent Shoals newsmakers want? Our elfin spies tell us all:

Dear Santa, please bring me…

A gazillionaire sugar daddy – DreamVision

A Norelco electric razor – Kevin Davis

Either more City of Florence job openings or fewer relatives – Dick Jordan

Just a little guidance from a wise counselor – Chris Balentine

Muskrats…more muskrats to blame – Tuscumbia Parks & Recreation

No fault divorce in Alabama – Kneeland Hibbett

One of those programs that erases sent messages five minutes after they’re read – Ian Sanford

Sharper teeth to bite James Bankston – Prince

That fat cat band director for lunch -- Una

The ability to drown voting rights in the City of Florence – Phillip Pettus

And finally,

A merry Christmas and a happy 2016 for all our readers – Shoalanda

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Mayor Bill Batson/More TD Comments

Former Florence mayor Bill Batson passed away last week. Mayor Batson served the city at a time when it was governed by a three-person commission and the bi-monthly meetings were televised on ComCast live along with a taped showing later in the day. Due to the antics of some commissioners, the show was viewed by many, even outside the city of Florence.

Mayor Batson had his hands full to say the least. He was never easily drawn into any of the arguments and presented a strong persona as the leader of Florence government. He is survived by many friends as well as family who will remember his contribution to the city for years to come.


Comments from readers on the TimesDaily:

* I've been wondering why the person putting the obituaries online for TD isn't aware that you alphabetize by last name not first name...

* A good friend of mine has spent the past several weeks attempting to set up an account for the TimesDaily's TNValleyTalks comment/blog site. An email was received almost a month ago, claiming the application for admission, and is under review.....whatever THAT means..... Several email inquiries have been made since to the TimesDaily. So far: Nada. Zilch. HELLOOOOOOO?!?!?!? It's like the requests and pleas for assistance have been sucked into a black hole. There are apparently no responsible, competent parties employed at the TimesDaily these days.


Saturday, December 19, 2015

Where's the TD Editor?

If it’s Sunday, shouldn’t the TD editor put in an appearance on the editorial page? That’s been a long standing tradition, but the current editor doesn’t seem to be inclined to offer his wit and wisdom once a week.

Was it the Shelton family’s idea to discontinue this tradition? We don’t know. We do know just after we blogged that we actually agreed with the TD on its stance concerning the closure of driver license offices in this state, the next week, with no explanation, just the opposite view was then espoused in the same editorial space. This should tell us that the Decatur Daily has its creeping cadaverous hand in Shoals area business.


On a related subject, it’s long been the theory of many that the TD is simply here to act as a cheerleading squad for the area. God forbid any in depth reporting is ever demonstrated.

We were reminded of that today when the headline concerned shopping in Tuscumbia, while the story of a local heroin trafficking arrest was displayed much farther down the front page. At least a local retail concern benefitted. Want to bet this same shop will soon be taking out an ad in the TD?


Talk about your branding: We hear that Rob Adolph Carnegie has issued the order whenever he’s referred to in news articles, he’s to be denoted as “President & CEO Rob Carnegie.” C’mon, Robbie Baby, why not just call yourself Der Fuhrer and be done with it?

Hmmmm, what’s next, playing Hail to the Chief whenever Carnegie enters any official meeting? Maybe he’s giving his new CD Rob Carnegie Yodels Mahler to tourism board members for Christmas? Maybe he’ll become so famous that DreamVision will make him an offer he can’t refuse? Yeah, we’d like that last one.

Of course, the Florence-Lauderdale Tourism Board deserves whatever it gets. Wonder how many of them miss Debbie Wilson by now?


Friday, December 18, 2015

Boycott UNA Donations?

By now you may know that Kevin Davis didn’t get the position of interim principal at the Muscle Shoals Career Academy. We heard that one of his qualifications was his uncle being a diesel mechanic…that and his having a lot of, ahem, bookkeeping experience from his former Athens post.


Lloyd Love Jr. of Florence has proposed that all private donations to UNA be ended until the university’s political clubs are no longer sponsored by faculty. All right, let’s say that it’s unethical for those on the state payroll to sponsor these political clubs; how are these clubs to be, for lack of a better word, monitored?

We can see the Chinese Communist Club with no oversight. Oh well, Bibb Graves Hall was an old building anyway; who cares if it was bombed into oblivion?


We recently mentioned an investigation into a Sheffield official. It seems there are two separate investigations of an elected official in the works in Lauderdale County. 2016 should be an interesting year.


From J. Redmon:

I have it on good authority that Alabama's state servers 'went down' last Thursday. Several state agencies, specifically DOT, were without internet/FAX capability. 'STAARS'-related? Who knows? You'd think, based on past dealings with Canadians, SOMEONE at the state government level would say 'Enough!'


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Any of our Readers Been Stiffed by the State?

Have any of our readers been affected by the new state payment system? Or should we say have any of the local mom and pop businesses, or even large companies, been stiffed by the state?

We’ve been told for years that attorneys who work as what may be termed public defenders have to wait four to six months to be reimbursed. Now it seems under the STAARS system implemented earlier this year, only 60% of the state’s bills are being paid at all, and the ones which are paid are chronically late.

To what do we owe this wonderful new system? To a no bid contract given to a Canadian company. We’re told state finance director Bill Newton is totally responsible for this debacle. He even planned a “cocktail reception,” paid for with our tax dollars, to celebrate the implementation of this horribly inadequate system. If there are any taxpaying readers out there who feel their money should be paying for parties when our state finances are in a shambles, please email us. No, what’s needed is an investigation and a new broom of some ilk.

Does Pete Wesson have any of those “Vote Them All Out” signs left?


We’re sure many of our readers are regular letter/e-mail writers to our elected representatives. A new legislative sessions isn’t that far away. Perhaps a good New Year’s resolution for us all would be to write our local delegation at least quarterly to let them know what the voters think. If nothing else, it will keep them busy shredding and deleting.

Lynn Greer, we’re still waiting for you to introduce that bill to address the state’s Certificate of Need policy.



Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Here's a Job No One Should Want

Street Dept. Supervisor Bump
The City of Sheffield has now advertised for a “secretary” for the Department of Streets & Sanitation. Former employee Tammy Holden was termed by Mayor Ian Sanford an “administrative assistant.” Is there a difference? There certainly is; we’ve known some executives to have both a secretary and an administrative assistant. We’ve been told that the much maligned president of a local manufacturing concern once had an administrative assistant who had her own secretary.

We’re postulating in this case that the designation of secretary may be more fitting for the position. It also may rate a much lower salary. Anyone foolish enough to want this job has until Friday to apply.


On a lighter note, or maybe not, while reading the Sheffield advert we noticed there was an “empty” cemetery lot for sale in Athens. Thank God it’s empty…

We’re reminded of once reading a notice of a free kitten to a “good Christian home.” What? They wouldn’t adopt to a nice Jewish family?


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

New Judges/WLAY Gone for Good?

You’re in need of surgery; which physician would you choose: Doc A who has five or less years experience; Doc B who has 15 years experience; or Doc C who has been practicing for 25 years?

Certainly there are more variables in any employment equation than just years of experience, but years on any job count for much. What about judges? What should you consider when you elect a new circuit court judge?

Lauderdale County is facing elections in two of its three circuit court judgeships, and the primary is now less than three months away. Do your homework.

We’ll be making endorsements in January or February, but as always we happily publish comments/blogs in favor of candidates we don’t support. Let us know what you think!


Is Muscle Shoals radio station WLAY now gone for good? The old sign of which most of us have fond memories, is...well, we hear it's somewhere rusting away. Could it have been saved? We have no idea. The interesting thing is that we have received no mail asking about saving WVNA--its sign still rusting away on Mitchell Boulevard.



Monday, December 14, 2015

Those Tentative Parole Dates

If you check the Alabama Department of Corrections site, you may find a parole date for many of those incarcerated in this state. It seems some of these never come to pass, while others are delayed for unknown reasons.

Jason Dewayne Green of Franklin County is currently serving a 19 year sentence in connection with the death of his girlfriend Shay Ledlow. He was recently denied his second appeal in this case. If Green serves his full term, he will be released in November 2032. He has a tentative parole hearing date of April 1, 2020. Let's hope he remains in the Limestone Correctional Center for 17 more years.

You may write letters contesting his parole at any time:

AIS:  00299182

Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles
301 South Ripley Street - Montgomery, AL. 36130
Phone: 334.353.7771 - 334.353.8067 / Main Fax: 334.353.9400


From L. Stone:

Tomorrow is the deadline for WLAY and WVNA to return to the air. If they are not on the air tomorrow their licenses are cancelled at 12:01 am on the 16th.

WLAY (originally WNRA, later WMSD) was the first radio station in the Shoals. If Sam Phillips hadn't got his start in radio at WLAY there probably wouldn't have been an Elvis.


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Forensics/12-Hour Shifts

The City of Muscle Shoals is discussing converting its police force from 8-hour to 12-hour shifts. Good or bad? If you asked us just off the top of our head, we'd say bad; however...

The Lauderdale and Colbert County Sheriff's Departments have made this move, and it's working very well. Perhaps it's easy to forget that most police officers are robust males who have no trouble enduring these long hours.

It will be interesting to see how this mini-power struggle plays out...


The backlog of forensic investigations in this state is abominable. We've had a few readers ask how charges can just be dropped if the delay is prolonged. Easily. We're guaranteed a speedy trial, and if it isn't forthcoming, defense attorneys have every right to ask for dismissal of charges.

Whose murder trial is now delayed? We haven't heard officially, but we know that Homajean Grisham III, known as Lee or Danger, has been facing Capital Murder Charges for over two years, with no trial date yet scheduled.

In Lauderdale County, the heroin/drug trafficking trials of John Wesley Akin and Brady Ann Irons were set to begin December 7th. Apparently they didn't. This actually works to Akin's disadvantage, assuming, if convicted, he would be serving his sentence concurrently with his Morgan County sentence...more on this later.


Ooooh, this is just not right:


Saturday, December 12, 2015

Could Sheffield Face More Lawsuits?

No...the City of Sheffield STILL hasn't seen fit to install the 'speed hump' in front of Sheffield High School that has been advertised for months. This fact begs some more questions: Obviously SOMEONE within the City of Sheffield's hierarchy recognized a 'need' for some sort of device or mechanism to slow down traffic in front of Sheffield High School. Was this 'need' the result of complaints by school officials, parents, or students? Or was it the result of a 'near-miss'? If a 'need' was determined, WHY ONLY for Sheffield High School? Anyone living in the immediate area will tell you that speeding traffic is FAR WORSE near L. E. Willson than any other school in Sheffield. The mere addition of a STOP sign at 31st Street and 21st Avenue would do a world of good in slowing down speeding traffic approaching L. E. Willson.

Perhaps the greatest concern, though, for the City of Sheffield is the 'legal minefield' the installation of the 'Speed Hump' sign in front of Sheffield High School has created. In installing the sign, the City of Sheffield has ACKNOWLEGED the existence of a dangerous situation. Yet, the city hasn't done anything about it OTHER THAN install a sign advertising a non-existent 'speed hump'. The city also CANNOT REMOVE IT. The City of Sheffield, due to its action/inaction, has placed itself LEGALLY in the midst of a 'Catch-22'. IF the city continues to delay the installation of the 'speed hump', and someone is injured or killed by a speeding car, or IF they remove the sign, and someone is hit or killed by a speeding car, the City of Sheffield WILL BE SUED. Why? Because SOMEONE has acknowledged that a PROBLEM EXISTS.

J. Redmon


We assume yesterday's Homeland Security visit to UNA was in connection to the missing Afghan pilots from Georgia. There have been no press releases or other information forthcoming. Let's hope these pilots are simply seeking asylum.



Friday, December 11, 2015

Homeland Security at UNA Questioning Islamic Students

It's been reported that representatives from Homeland Security visited the University of North Alabama today. A reliable source who requests anonymity stated the agents questioned certain Islamic students in regard to the whereabouts of certain individuals.

We're going to guess this is a case of dotting every "i" and crossing every "t," but what if there are terrorists among us? Why are terrorists among us? We know that at least one local police chief and one local sheriff believe there are soft targets in the Shoals. 

Stay vigilant. Stay safe...


Thursday, December 10, 2015

UNA Football v. Muscle Shoals High School Football

Three years ago, a third-string UNA football player tweeted a racist remark about the president. He was kicked off the team. We have no idea how many followers this young man had on Twitter; however, there were obviously complaints. Did UNA do the right thing? Well...he was third string, and we consider it no great loss if he'd been first string.

Fast forward to last month, and a man with a large Facebook following posted a highly critical meme concerning Chris Balentine, one that we felt was well deserved. Many commented, including several Muscle Shoals football players.

One woman had added some critical comments to the post, using no profanity, no racism, nothing that could have been found offensive. One Muscle Shoals player offered the extremely erudite rebuttal that the woman was a "lowdown f**king whore." My, my, did he learn those words from Coach Balentine?

No matter where he learned them, nothing was done to the young man. The entire post was later removed from Facebook. We'll be sure to check on the whereabouts of this young man in about five years.


It's been reported that there was a called meeting of city officials in Sheffield last night. We have no other information on this, but welcome any from readers.



Wednesday, December 9, 2015

New Assistant Superintendent in Muscle Shoals Schools?

We've learned that approximately 18 months ago the Muscle Shoals City School System posted a job opening for a second assistant superintendent. We don't know how many applied for the job, but the extremely qualified Gale Satchell was one of them. Then the job posting was abruptly withdrawn, with the system saying there simply wasn't enough money to afford another assistant. Hmmmm, no one considered that before the job posting went public?

Mary Ann Stegall has been the sole person serving in the position of assistant, but is now retiring. Will there now be two positions to fill? If so who will be the lucky/unlucky finalists?

Our friend the swami is predicting Chad Holden and Denise Woods.

Any other changes the swami sees in the system's future? Kevin Davis, known to many of our regular readers as Sasquatch, will be moved to the career tech school as an "interim" principal. Maybe he'll find some new hair colors there to criticize.


Returning to that city on the bluff, we've had an interesting comment about recording phone conversations.Thanks to a reader for giving us a heads up on the legality of this in Alabama. From a freedom of the press site:

Alabama law sets criminal penalties for recording or disclosing private communication of others without the consent of at least one of the persons involved. The statute also bans secret observations while trespassing on private property. Those divulging illegally obtained communications also face criminal penalties.

Since the consent of one party was a given in the Holden/Sanford conversation, no laws were broken in this state.



Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Don't They Teach Math in Sheffield?

On the City of Sheffield debacle: There was wrong on both sides, at least as we see it. The detail of most concern is obviously the e-mails which set the city up for a lawsuit. The area of second concern? The secretly recorded phone call.

Apparently Mayor Sanford (conveniently?) forgot the conversation with Mrs. Holder over the issue of her casual attire until confronted with a secret recording of the conversation. We also have problems with how this recording was made. Isn’t that illegal? Yes, wrong on both sides. So when you want it backed up, converse via texts.

A third area of concern is math. That’s right math. Mrs. Holden claimed 194.25 hours of comp time for answering the phone during what would have been her normal lunch hour until a new phone system was installed in “the summer.” By our calculation, if she worked five days a week until the end of June, she would have accumulated 195 hours (they’re figured at time and a half). How many hours did the city clerk calculate? 51. Even subtracting holidays can’t account for the clerk’s astonishing calculation. As Barbie once said, math is hard. Apparently so are ethics and civility.


There will be some personnel changes coming up at Waterloo school when a former Muscle Shoals system principal joins the rural Lauderdale system; are other changes on the horizon for Muscle Shoals? We hear they are. Stay tuned…


We now have over 4,000 likes on Facebook. Thanks, Shoals!


Monday, December 7, 2015

Updates on Sheffield Lawsuit/Chris Balentine

First we have a correction/addendum from a confidential source regarding the Tammy Holden termination hearing:

The council did see the emails but Steve Baccus said they were irrelevant to the case. Underwood had asked that Ian Sanford be a witness and be cross-examined which Baccus and the council said they would not do. Ian was called as a witness which the city council overrode. He was not allowed to be cross-examined by Holden's attorney. 

Ian was also asked to recuse himself from voting because of the hostile environment, emails, and recorded statement from him saying Holden's attire was appropriate. Sanford initially said he never said that, but acquiesced when he heard the secretly recorded conversation.

We also want to add that Streets & Sanitation Department head Bradley Bump's wife now works for the Tuscumbia Parks and Recreation Department. Somehow that doesn't sound less stressful.


Meanwhile in Lauderdale County, we hear that Muscle Shoals Coach Chris Balentine's wife has filed for divorce. 


Also in Lauderdale, Mackenzie Crosswhite remains missing. This is her second bunk, and we commented on a linked article that she should be grounded for life. Some felt she was the victim in all this. We have no idea what her emotional problems may be, but we do know her father is extremely worried about her. She's 17; she has to know what kind of impact this kind of thing has on others, as well as her own education (how much school has she missed?). Above all, we hope she is found safe. Here is a link to information concerning Mackenzie; it contains an updated physical description and more on the man the teenager is believed to have left with.


Sunday, December 6, 2015

Reporters/Readers/How Many Others Don't Know the Law?

We received this from a reader:

Click to Enlarge

Unless strangulation is involved, the incident referred to is a misdemeanor. This coach, whom we have heard has been involved in many domestic altercations, has unfortunately never been arrested before. No arrests, no priors. If a woman or her family don't report a crime, in the eyes of the law, it didn't happen. Judge Medley gave the appropriate sentence for a first offense.

What will happen now? If we had to guess, spots are hard to change...


Recently Tom Smith of the TimesDaily reported on an upcoming Capital Murder case; he said Capital Murder is subject to 2 years to Life Without in prison or death. Uh, no. He always says this, and we can't fathom why.

Capital Murder has only two possible sentences: Life Without or Death. That's it. Mr. Smith doesn't understand the difference between Capital Murder and (Felony) Murder.  


A conversation at a recent Thanksgiving gathering reminded us of another "law" that we have heard all our life here in Alabama. In this state a couple can't marry and divorce each other more than three times. As a child/young person, we thought nothing of this when we heard it repeated, but as an adult, this sounds utterly inane. Still, it's Alabama, so we asked our favorite legal eagle friend.

No truth to that old tale, he said. If anyone knows where this fallacious notion may have originated, please let us hear.


Saturday, December 5, 2015

Questions About Tammy Holden Dismissal

We've been asked several questions about the recent dismissal of Tammy Holden from the Sheffield Street & Sanitation Department. We will answer what we can...

* What does the Sheffield City Council say about all this? Apparently nothing. We will say that when Mrs. Holden was terminated with their approval, they had not seen the e-mails to which she had been subjected.

* Why was Ms. Holden terminated? Basically, her current supervisor accused her of insubordination and not following the dress code. Department head Bradley Bump admits he didn't like Ms. Holden, and vice versa.

* How bad was the genitalia photo sent out by Ian Sanford? There probably isn't a delicate way to answer this question; the extreme lower part was covered by a pair of unzipped jeans. Does it qualify as porn? We would say so. There was another e-mail featuring a cartoon tattoo of a vagina. Some very bad taste all around considering these e-mails came from Mayor Sanford.

* What's next? Mrs. Holden has filed a lawsuit. The city will have to defend it in some manner. It should be interesting.


From a reader:

I have heard that Chief Ray is actually performing as a Chief should since Dewey's troubles have been made public. He is vowing to 'clip the wings of some rogue officers, and insure that ALL incidents receive the written reports that they require.' It seems that the past couple of years have seen some Sheffield PD officers shirking their duty, apparently with Dewey's 'blessings. That appears to be over.


Above is Bradley Bump. According to Facebook, his wife Nancy is also an administrative assistant with the City of Sheffield. Holden has stated she feared Bump was about to sabotage the spreadsheet she had created on the location of city wheelie bins.. 


On the subject of Dewey King, we do know that he has been under investigation concerning a matter not related to the e-mails. We have not been given permission to release any details as yet. We understand that the results of this investigation will be brought forward whether King resigns or not.


Friday, December 4, 2015

Mr. Mayor, 99.99% Don't Want to See What You Sent!

When we first heard about the racial and sexual nature of the e-mails in question in the latest lawsuit against the City of Sheffield, we weren't sure what to think. Two city officials were guilty of this, according to the attorney quoted in the TD article. Who were they, and what did they send?

Later we were informed via a confidential source that one of the misguided department heads was Dewey King, a man whom, judging from our e-mail over the years, no one likes for more reasons than we can count. Who was the other?

Let's digress here for a minute. This is a political blog, and we try to be fair. If we supported you in past elections and later you take out half your constituents with an Uzi, we're going to report on that. Our citizens deserve better. As a woman writing this blog today, I can say that women deserve better treatment than they receive in the workplace.

That being said, Mr.Mayor Ian Sanford, no female working for you (at least the ones I know) want to see a photograph of a penis. I don't care how funny the joke is; BTW this one wasn't funny. We've read some of the other jokes you have sent to employees...and some were funny, but as mayor should you have sent them to ANY employees? What were you thinking sending one whose punch line was the photo of a penis? (No we're not going to publish it here, but it will be in Colbert County court records soon enough.)

We've said it before and we'll say it again here. Whistle blowers get no respect. People have to work for a living and put up with quite a bit from supervisors, usually those with a high school diploma and five ex-wives, but from a college educated male who holds the respect of the community?

We're sad to publish this today.


Thursday, December 3, 2015

About Those E-Mails from Dewey King...

It's amazing what people will send from a work computer. We have some old incriminating personal e-mails from a UNA employee that actually use his job title and his work address, all in bright purple and gold. What if it's a private e-mail account, but sent on a city computer? What if these e-mails are racially inflammatory?

A confidential source has sent us some e-mails (with more coming) from Sheffield public safety director Dewey King. You may remember King as being involved in some controversial situations twice in recent years--a conflict of interest with the E-911 board and refusing to answer the questions of local television reporters. No, there's no law that states an acting police chief has to answer the public's questions, but not doing so raises more questions.

So now King has helped to involve the City of Sheffield in a lawsuit. It may be just be our crazy opinion, but sending a message with the N-word to a person with a racially mixed family might not be the most intelligent thing to do.


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Great Sheffield Wheelie Bin Caper

We trust each of you has gotten your jollies from reading the escapades at the Sheffield Street and Sanitation Department. What can we learn from this?

* If you think someone wants to sabotage the wheelie bin spreadsheet or any other file, you can buy a Jump drive at Big Lots for 8.00—it’s a worthwhile investment. Just be sure to back up your files each day.

* Husbands and wives really shouldn’t work together in the public sector. It NEVER works out and causes hard feelings among other employees. If the employees meet and marry at work, do whatever it takes to transfer one to an equal paying job in another department/location.

* Dress modestly—that goes for both sexes. That is of course unless you have extra time to ward off unwanted advances or you have a second job on the side.

* One of the worst mistakes any manager/owner can make is to take something away from an employee due to no fault of the employee. So you didn’t like the previous arrangement for overtime pay or whatever? Tough. You didn’t make it, but you should honor it as far as hours already earned. If you don’t you’re being a horse’s patoot.

* For Heaven’s sake, never make any personal remarks in writing. Even employees who don’t know how to back up files seem to know how to keep copies of every off color or discriminatory remark anyone makes. Don’t make these remarks verbally either; see above about horse’s patoot.

* Finally, to ensure job security, keep Billy on speed dial and have it prominently displayed on your phone.


So let’s see, ol’ Jimbo Bob (James Tucker) is 40, lives in a trailer in the wilds of eastern Lauderdale County, and looks like Travis the Chimp. He also has a 25 year-old live-in girl friend. This poor woman had to have been desperate for a home…or maybe a chemical aperitif this man offered.

Tucker has been indicted for his many crimes against this woman, among them strangulation, assault, and kidnapping. We didn’t read that the mini-mart clerk whom Jimbo Bob threatened during the latter part of this hours long attack pressed any charges, but we hope that he/she did. It might be only a misdemeanor, but ol’ Jimbo Bob needs it on his record.

Perhaps Jimbo Bob will now find religion; we understand his mother has just opened a faith healing church. Would you trust spiritual guidance from the woman who made this post? Her son deserves better? Yes, they breathe and walk among us.

Let’s hope this Neanderthal gets more than a diversion program for his sins. Either that or the community buys his ex a Taser, a bullwhip, and a baseball bat.


Now a little Boz from early this year; he’s still smokin’…


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Muslims Don't Like Barbecue?/Tammy Holden

This story made the rounds long before 9/11 made “Muslim” a household word and few knew many of the religion’s customs and dietary restrictions: An up and coming young executive, ‘Bama born and bred, was assigned to take some foreign customers to tour his company’s Athens facility. He duly withdrew money from petty cash to pay for their lunch; after all, it was going to be a long day.

The clerk who handled petty cash noted later in the day that a lobby sign welcomed the visitors—from Saudi Arabia. The next day the young executive duly brought his lunch receipt and change to the clerk. She related that she thought it was odd that he had so much money left. Where and what had they eaten?

A quick look at the receipt showed one sandwich and three soft drinks. The name of the eatery? The Greenbrier Barbecue. Our friend didn’t know whether to laugh a little…or to laugh a lot.

Things certainly do change.


Early next year, the owners of the Athens 306 BBQ will be opening a second location in the old Greenbrier building that suffered fire damage in 2013.


This is former Sheffield street department employee Tammy Holden. She's suing the city over her termination. Stay tuned...