Saturday, December 31, 2016

Readers Pick the Top Ten Stories of 2016

Below are the top ten blogs from 2016 per readers' views. We are excluding our actual top blog on the child predator at Florence Plaza since it went national and perhaps as many as 60% of its 25K hits came from readers outside the Shoals. We also omitted blogs on campaign endorsements since their numbers were sometimes skewed due to supporters' repeated hits and they lacked actual news relevance.

10. It's Not Nice to Try to Fool Mother Shoalanda
9. Billy Underwood's Reaves Statement 
8. Robert DeShawn Childers Missing
7. He Tried to Run Down Two Police Officers
6. Missing Woman Found Dead
5. Illegal Sports Recruiting?
4. Statement on Don Tipper
3. Tell a Tail...
2. Manslaughter?
1. How Do You Spell Whites Only?


Golden Gate Bridge, but doesn't it remind you of O'Neal?


We always attempt to give credit where due, so we're noting that two of our top blogs came from Leslie M. Shoals, two were statements from Billy Underwood, and our very top blog came from a Tuscumbia resident. We appreciate all guest blogs and will always keep the author's identity anonymous, so keep them coming in 2017.
We're sad to report, ahem, that the couple blogged about in our number ten position, according to knowledgeable informants, is no longer together. Who would have thought it? This was at least the third of our bad boys' WAGs who wised up during the year. 

What will 2017 bring? Our prediction is nothing good for those who continue to stand by these felons.

Friday, December 30, 2016

The Return of the Muskrat/TVA Plays Grinch?

Yes, the Tuscumbia Muskrat is alive and well and has honored us with a holiday message:

I’m back … The Tuscumbia Muskrat hiatus has ended. I return at the end of the year to applaud the changes occurring within Tuscumbia’s Spring Park. For example: Spring Park’s Christmas lights went up EARLY this year and it looked MARVELOUS. Every light bulb matched perfectly with its image depiction. Even the downtown Christmas Wreath lights were perfectly displayed with green and red lights. Before this year it was becoming difficult to make out the image of the Christmas light displays. Bad or broken light bulbs were lazily replaced with random color light bulbs or clear light bulbs - so basically it just looked crappy. 

So who was responsible for the Christmas light display overhaul? Was it the new Mayor or was it the new park committee? I think it was both the new Mayor and his new park committee. And I say BRAVO!!! I know for some people an overhaul on Christmas lights may seem minor, but for me it shows that this new administration cares about everything – including the little things. Tuscumbia has been unmanaged and unmaintained for far too long. Now change is in the air and I LOVE IT. 

It was so nice not to have our annual Times Daily article with our Park Manager blaming vandals (aka excuse) for Spring Park’s poor Christmas light displays. Speaking of Park Manager - I often ponder on his job status. I have heard that the new committee has taken the reigns and thus they were mainly responsible for the Christmas light display facelift. I am excited and highly anticipate what other changes loom as 2017 approaches. 

Will the carousel horses be re-painted? Will the train have all the passenger carts in operation? Will the rollercoaster be overhauled? Will Azaleas return to the park? Much will be answered very soon. If the new committee continues to take charge then I think Tuscumbia and Spring Park will once again shine as the crown jewel of Colbert County. Things are changing and I will always be watching – stay tuned!

Tuscumbia Muskrat

(The image we've used to illustrate the holiday message is real, so if you would like some muskrat themed ornaments for next year, simply Google "muskrat Christmas."


Most government entities purchase things such as fuel months, if not YEARS, in advance in order to get a good price locked in. Apparently TVA doesn't subscribe to such practice.

We've all seen 'fuel adjustments' added to our monthly utility bills over the years. They usually run between $7-$8, but occasionally have been as high as $12-$14. But $54.81???? THAT is the amount of the 'TVA fuel adjustment' fee added to my utility bill this month. If every TVA-serviced household is being HIT (And that is exactly what this is. A HIT!) with the same $54.81 'fuel adjustment' fee, TVA is making out like the proverbial bandit. Something stinks...


Many remember the nefarious exploits of Trent Townsend and Steve Murphy, but even if you don't, be sure to check out the latest Shoals Crime:

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Tanya Waldrep/Community Corrections

Tanya Waldrep remains in ICU at ECM Hospital after being shot by her husband Kenny Joe Waldrep before Christmas. Tanya's two daughters have lost work time, as have other family members. Now there's a GoFundMe account where you can contribute to their expenses:

We notice the goal for this account is a modest $2,000.00. The originator states it will also be used for expenses not covered by insurance. We expect the family to be very unpleasantly surprised when they see the actual amount not covered. Let's hope this funding campaign will alleviate at least part of their problems.



If found guilty in Tanya Waldrep's shooting, her husband will be required to pay restitution. This is an area our criminal justice system needs to work on. We receive at least one e-mail a week informing us of unpaid restitution while the miscreant roams the streets freely...partying, marrying, and reproducing.


Community Corrections is a good idea in itself. Yet those who participate abuse the program (We see that Shannon Lightsey was almost immediately arrested after being placed in the program). There are also those who manage to pay their $35.00 a week, or more, and continue on their merry way, telling others they're completely free of the system.

These individuals need to remember that even community corrections has its limits. Too much freedom and they'll be sent down south to finish their sentences.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Beer/Food Stamps/Dillard Cover-Up?

Several weeks ago, we initiated the profanity filter on our Facebook page. We simply checked "yes" and didn't add or remove any words from the filter. Today we received a notice to approve a comment from someone who has always made sensible and conservative remarks. That was surprising in itself, but we wondered if we had missed such notices in the past. If so, we apologize...if your language wasn't that bad. What was our reader's word? Beer.


We read the new president of Shoals Dems was concerned about food stamps in the area. He need not be; no one has received food stamps in years. Now, SNAP issued via EBT cards? That's a different story. 


Our video of Alvin Holmes brought some more in our e-mail. It seems that Holmes doesn't care if Alabama allows marriage to consenting mules. This is our state legislature, folks. God help us.



We see that the TimesDaily, via writer Tom Smith, has quite a few errors in its story on Chip Dillard. Dillard hasn't been in the Lauderdale Detention Center since May; he's spent two stretches in Franklin County where he met the inmate who testified against him concerning threats. Was the TD attempting to cover up? If so, we'd already published the inmate's name. It won't be long until he goes South, and we're predicting the same for Dillard who currently remains in the Lauderdale Detention Center.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Good Thing About 2017

We've not heard anyone say that 2016 has been a good year for them. No, not one person. It may have been better than some recent years, but still not good. Rejoice, 2017 will be better. How do we know? There will be no general elections.


Of course, Gov. Bentley will call a special election to fill Sessions' seat. That's after he appoints a fill-in. Have you heard the fill-in might be Roy Moore? Well, as bad as that would be, it would at least get Moore out of the state. Just think, if he took his son with him, the crime rate would drop at least 30%.


There's even been talk of appointing Alvin Holmes to the senate. Not familiar with Holmes? Here's a great example of his work in the state legislature:

(No, we're not pro-beer, just pro-logical argument.)


2016 hasn't been great for UNA's faculty or student body. Another student passed away over Christmas:


In case you missed it, Quad-Cities Cuisine has a new review:

Monday, December 26, 2016

Sweetwater Plantation is NOT Zoned Commercial

We hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas and is now taking a few moments to slow down and bask in the sunshine before a hectic New Year’s Eve…or at least came out victorious in today’s sales. Let us now take a deep breath and return to the sordid tale of Sweetwater Plantation.

A few days ago, we blogged on the new Neese Real Estate listing, a listing of commercial property:

Now some knowledgeable readers have informed us that the property is NOT zoned commercial. The huge plantation plat remains residential, yet it has no home that is habitable, no home that is by most accounts even salvageable. What does that mean for owner Susan Leigh Smithson?

No savvy developer would buy the property outright without it first being rezoned. What the developer might do is partner with Smithson and present a detailed project to the Florence zoning authorities. The city council would then vote on rezoning as they recently did in Shoal Creek property owned by Shaler Roberts III.

Would an individual purchase the property to live there, to build a new home on? Anything is possible, but would you spend four million dollars on property you would have to keep up and pay taxes on just to call yourself a plantation owner? Would you live in a ramshackle home, no matter how historic? Would you build a new home on the property and then let the old Weeden home slowly decay into a pile of bricks while the public criticized you for doing so? Or even tear the manor house down and face similar wrath?

We’re guessing the answer to those questions is no. We’re guessing that Smithson will have a hard time selling the property unless the City of Florence comes to her rescue. Will it? If we had to guess, we’re going to answer no to that one also.


In case you missed the latest comment from “The Help,” here it is:

Or go read up on the Elder Abuse complaint filed against Smithson with DHR in regards to the guardianship she was granted after she put on a show complete with crocodile tears before a Colbert County Judge and lied to him stating that she lived here when infact she hadn't set foot in Tuscumbia in over a decade prior to their meeting to get Guardianship over her mother which she used to steal her home and land and prop her mother's identity up like a Credit Zombie so she can keep her sinking business afloat with lines of credit opened in her mother's name that she never intends to repay and clandestine bank accounts in foreign lands where she hides assets from the court's view.

Smithson lives in the lap of luxury and spends $300+ a night at fine restaurants in Buckhead while her 88 year old Mother lives below the poverty level and depends on a social security check every month to make ends meet.

The laundry list of morally corrupt and flat out illegal activity that Smithson is involved in is long and storied. The Jewel theft was but the tip of a massive iceberg that would make Donald Trump himself blush with envy.


Yesterday a seven year-old girl in Lee County was killed while operating an adult ATV. The adult who was riding behind the child was not identified, but no matter who he/she was, we hope the district attorney prosecutes. Sorry, personal freedom to make choices should not extend to anyone under the age of 18.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Who Paid for the Sheffield Library Renovations?

Earlier this week, we published a blog from the Midnight Rider that mentioned the renovations to the Sheffield Public Library. At least one reader disagreed with M.R.’s take on the library, specifically mentioning that the Friends of the Library paid for the renovations. Did that group do so?

We were unfamiliar with the background on the construction work. Make no mistake that we of all people support local libraries; still we had no idea of the facts and figures of the project.

According to the last published information, the City of Sheffield paid for a little over 39% of the renovations; however, once the work was underway, there were additional costs—how much we don’t know. Neither do we know if the city paid anything toward the cost overrun.

Even if the city didn’t pay any of the additional expense, the 120K it did pay is no small amount for a town the size of Sheffield. Each citizen is entitled to agree with the payment or to disagree. The important thing is that no one told any “falsehoods” as the Muscle Shoals reader commented.



Speaking of falsehoods, whatever happened to that famous amusement park two local guys were hawking?


We want to take this opportunity to thank J. Redmon, the Midnight Rider, Bailey Quarters, Leslie M. Shoals, and L. Stone for their contributions this past year. Shoalanda herself might not always agree 100% with every one of their stances, but we support their right to voice an educated opinion.

Similarly, we welcome blogs and comments from each of our readers. Keep them coming.

Friday, December 23, 2016

And Now a Word about the Uppity Sweetwater Plantation Owner

Almost anyone can have almost anything in life if they’re willing to give up enough…you know, things like integrity, friends, family. Need money? File false insurance claims. Or use others’ names for lines of credit. Or simply don’t pay bills to those who don’t have the resources to take you to court. Easy, isn’t it?

Want to feel better about yourself? There’s no need to actually accomplish anything worthwhile in life. You can just put others down so that you’re automatically lifted higher by comparison—sort of like shopping at Walmart when you’re feeling ugly and dowdy.

People who behave this way are called sociopaths. We’ve certainly written enough here about such people, usually “bad boys.” We’ve also written about two such women. One is currently in the court system in four Alabama counties and claiming mental illness for all her problems in life. She may be correct in that claim, but she has hurt countless individuals and essentially stolen thousands of dollars from the taxpayers of Alabama.

The second woman is a former Shoals resident who has been involved in dubious business deals her entire life in order to live a lavish lifestyle. Now it seems many of her airborne castles are crumbling.



After listing the Weeden Home and the surrounding Sweetwater Plantation for nine million dollars several years ago, owner Susan Leigh Smithson has been uncharacteristically quiet in recent times. Now she’s listed the historical…and valuable…estate for only four million. Why? A reader sent us this:

If you want to read into something interesting go look up the civil RICO case Smithson is fighting in Atlanta that mandated the sale of this property.

King & Spalding is the firm that brought the case against Smithson on behalf of a seamstress who's identity Smithson hijacked to open lines of credit for her "business" that changes names more often than a normal person changes underwear. Her counsel, Donald Cook, has recently been sanctioned and fined a hefty sum for his involvement in covering up her illegal activity.

She's an awful human being who has ruined the lives of countless people including her own family and despite countless attempts to bring her to justice she has successfully eluded all of them. Why the federal government hasn't stepped in at this point to cart her off to jail is beyond me.

Susan’s business in the fashionable Atlanta suburb of Buckhead isn’t doing so well either:

Smithson says someone stole her identity when they published the above FB message. We’re guessing Smithson found out that it was a civil matter (several individuals in the Shoals found out the same when some of Smithson’s cronies used their names on blogs to sully their character), so she added a criminal element of assault.

No matter Smithson’s racial beliefs or interest/non-interest in historical preservation, if a court is making Smithson sell property in order to pay debts, she will sell Sweetwater plantation. The land is designated commercial, and whatever business, or church, purchases the land, the old home will be razed.

At one time there was a group of local citizens attempting to raise money to purchase the plantation, but they haven’t been active in some time. Can the Weeden Home be saved? Don’t bet the rent.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Chip Dillard Seals His Fate?

Have you ever said “I could kill him/her?” Most of us have, yet we didn’t really mean it. It’s certainly not the wisest move to be sitting in a jail cell and announcing how easy it would be to kill witnesses against us as well as police officers who investigated our case.

Did Florence attorney Edward Ray “Chip” Dillard really behave so foolishly? According to Franklin County inmate Fredrick Terrell Helton, Dillard uttered the threats in his company, but later claimed it was all a psychological game to intimidate those who will oppose him in court, not actually harm them. Whom has he really harmed? Obviously himself, and we’ll be surprised if he doesn’t rate a new indictment due to his remarks.


While they may look cold, summer has just begun for these little guys.


Did you notice the police officer who testified against Dillard at his bond reduction hearing works drug cases? Still no indictment against Dillard for supplying clients with pills. Theoretically, if the attorney general’s office is seeking life plus 270 years, more indictments are superfluous and a waste of our district attorney’s time and resources.


Mega-churches? A reader has informed us the Church of the Highlands is coming to the Shoals. Will that organization, scheduled to begin worship services in Florence in February, purchase the Sweetwater Plantation property? We have to place it in the realm of possibility.


Five-star generals? Yesterday we mentioned that there have been no such promotions since WWII. One of our readers pointed out that we were in error. Indeed, General Omar Bradley was the last to be elevated to that rank in 1950. Another reader pointed out that the U.S. still has supreme commanders, but none who ranks above a four-star general. We’re happy to make those corrections…and to have learned something.

Special: Weeden Home is on the Market Again!

Sometimes local news deserves a special blog, and this is one of those times. Regular readers from a few years ago know the history of the Weeden Home which sits on the grounds of Sweetwater Plantation in the eastern end of Florence. Now the historic home and grounds have been returned to the market:

Historic Sweetwater Plantation new on market. Home has little value in its current condition. Would be great for the City of Florence or State of Alabama to purchase and restore. or a great location for a Mega Church... 1828 Home of Major John Brahan, veteran of War of 1812. Major General Alabama Militia, who owned 4,000 acres here. Built of brick made on this place, marble mantels imported from Italy. Boxwood hedge from London. Named for spring nearby. Federal and Confederates quartered here during Civil War. Home of Brahan's son in law Governor Robert M. Patton 1865-1867.

First we’ll comment on poor, beleaguered John Brahan. He was a GENERAL! In case any readers are confused, this is the hierarchy of generals in the U.S.:

* Brigadier General

* Major General

* Lieutenant General

* Full General, aka Four-Star General

* And on rare occasions, a Five-Star General/Supreme Commander (Think Eisenhower—there hasn’t been such a general since WWII)

Could someone please have the historical marker outside the old home corrected?

Now let’s move on with this intriguing ad from Shirley Neese. Just how bad is this edifice that Ms. Neese feels the need to say: Home has little value? If any doubt this statement, go to our sidebar and take a look at the site captioned “Sweetwater Ruins.”

Yet, the asking price is a cool four million. Ms. Neese goes on to suggest the property would be a great site for a mega-church. Is Six Flags Over Jesus moving to the Lauderdale Side of the river? Or perhaps a certain church on Woodmont Drive could be convinced to build there?

Hasn’t this just made the Florence Historical Board’s Christmas? Will owner Susan Smithson add the title “Grinch” to her resume’? Stay tuned…

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Sheffield Raises? The Midnight Rider Tells It Like It Is

The City of Sheffield and Raises
By: The Midnight Rider
It was reported in the Times Daily today that the employees for the City of Sheffield were going to get a raise. But of course as always there had to be some kind of difficulty about it. Two members of Council voted against this raise. The reasoning was they were not sure of the impact of the raises.
From the Times Daily:
Despite some fiscal concern by the mayor and a councilwoman, city employees will receive a salary increase at the beginning of the year. The Sheffield City Council voted 4-2 to give all full-time city employees a 25-cent per hour raise, beginning with the first pay period in January.”
Okay let’s look at some things about the City of Sheffield. The Police and Fire Department are breeding grounds for new recruits. The City gets them trained and then they leave for a higher paying job. Where is the economic sense behind this?
At least Council Members Steve Nix, Steve Stanley and Ronnie Wicks understand this:
Councilman Steve Stanley said the city can offset some the cost of the raises by refinancing an existing bond issue. Stanley and Councilman Ronnie Wicks said they think higher wages would help attract and retain employees.
‘I'd like to do something to show the employees we appreciate them,’ Wicks said.
Nix said he wanted to get the city's salaries more in line with other Shoals cities to reduce the amount of turnover."
However, Sheffield Mayor Ian Sanford had the following to say:
"’My major concern was our reserves,’ the mayor said. ‘It's shrunk pretty drastically, and it's frightening. We need to build our reserves, in my opinion. I think it's time to save some money. I have no problem with it if we can indeed afford it.’"
Okay, let’s go with what Mayor Sanford had to say. Maybe if the City of Sheffield didn’t have a Librarian who made more than the Police and Firefighters that would save some money. Maybe if we didn’t have a major reconstruction of the Library that would save some money. Sanford has his priorities in the wrong place.  
The City of Sheffield is putting a lot of effort into this Inspiration Landing which we hope goes through. However, that concept and building is far off. Deal with your problems right now. Losing employees to other cities because of money is a problem.
I have recently heard that a well-known business in Downtown Sheffield is considering moving out of Sheffield.  Furthermore, I was not at this council meeting but was told by a reliable source the comment was made from a Council member that “the Police Department was the reason the employees didn’t get a larger raise due to overtime.”
Maybe if Mayor Sanford’s house gets broken into, he can call the Librarian to take the report.
To be continued...
I am and always will be, the midnight rider



We will comment on the librarian issue. We’re assuming she has a degree in her field, quite probably a masters degree. For that she should be compensated adequately; however, it is sad when our first responders aren’t similarly compensated.

Inspiration Landing? We recently blogged on that project. Is there any further word on progress with the first component, the amphitheatre? Let’s hope the curse of Yellow Creek hasn’t struck again. In fact, Sheffield has had so many near misses with projects along its bluff that it deserves its own eponymous curse.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Do You Know Who Works for You?

A few years ago some acquaintances had work done on their home. A short time after the work was completed, their English bulldog puppy was kidnapped. Coincidence?

This morning we read that a certain notorious house painter was back in jail. While it wasn’t for theft from his clients this time (he alternates between theft, drug, and domestic violence crimes), we were surprised that this man has not yet been sent south.

If Lightsey is ever free from the system, we hope he finds lucrative work in construction or a similar job and is able both to support himself and pay restitution. Similarly, we hope he’s never employed inside anyone’s home again. Sadly, he may be.

How many of you don’t check references? We’re sure at least a few of our readers are hurried to get a job done and don’t make the best choice in those who work in and around their homes. The next time you need a renovator, remember Shannon David Lightsey and ask for references.


Winter begins officially tomorrow at 4:44 a.m. Most of us will be safely inside, we hope; however, temps are expected to rise precipitously before Christmas. Let's hope the polar vortex has retired for another year.


We’ve often criticized Libby Stockard Jordan in the past for riding on her husband’s coattails. Now we’re going to give her some much deserved kudos for taking a stand on UNA spending. Mrs. Jordan is supportive of a new roof for Collier Library. At a recent board of trustees meeting, she stated new university projects shouldn’t be undertaken while current buildings are falling apart. Amen!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Colbert County Courthouse Security

Apparently someone in a position of authority has decided that the courthouse's metal detector needs to be relocated from the 2nd floor, where it served as a deterrent (The Deputy Sheriff manning that post is around 70 years old.) to anyone considering bringing a weapon into a courtroom, to the 1st floor. With this move, only ONE entrance (Water St.) to the courthouse will be available to the general public. 

All other formerly-accessible points of public entry will be off-limits. It remains unclear as to 'why' this decision has been made, but a LOT of people will be affected by this move. For Colbert County residents doing business in the courthouse, such as paying property taxes and renewing automobile tags, be prepared to empty your pockets, purses,and remove your belt. There is currently no information available as to whether individuals whose pants fall down will be charged with 'public indecency' or not.



How common is the new Colbert County practice? It's done that way in Franklin County, but Lauderdale leaves front offices free from the metal detectors. We'll assume the change was initiated by the county commission, so if anyone is inconvenienced, they should contact their commissioner(s).


From L. Stone: When UNA changes divisions will they play Electoral College?


By request, and pardon the language (for all those fed up with their trees already):

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Let George Do It

“Let George do it” is a very old saying; basically it means let someone else do whatever needs to be done. This saying incorporates the fallacy that someone else always will. Unfortunately this isn’t true.

The TimesDaily is reporting a contest to raise money for Lawrence County was a dud. After worldwide publicity, the Mustang Sally contest garnered less than 400 votes/dollars. We’ll give the contest organizer an “A” for effort and originality, but he totally misjudged the mindset of those he targeted.

A failed contest isn’t that big of deal, but what about a failed children’s clothing drive?

Sure, you can say it’s the parents’ fault that their kids don’t have adequate clothing…and you may be right the majority of the time. That still doesn’t change the fact that these kids, who may have been counting on these coats, will go without this Christmas.

Let’s hope some of our readers will send a small donation to the Lions’ food drive. At least the needy in Red Bay can eat well this holiday.



Two days ago we mentioned John Morgan prints for sale on eBay. Within 20 hours or less, 13 of the 19 were sold. No, we have no connection to the seller; we simply feel all Morgan prints should have a good home. We now expect the price of these six remaining prints to increase the next time they’re relisted, so if you’re in the market, now’s the time to buy. (Mr. Morgan is deceased, so there will never be new prints of any ilk, and existing prints rarely come on the market.)

"Tuscumbia" Based on Richard Sheridan Description

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Kudos to UNA Football Team!/New Stadium?

Minus five degree windchill and snowing! There should be a law that non-professional football has to be played in above freezing temps. Nevertheless, UNA did their best, and local citizenry should be proud of them.



We do have a prediction: As soon as UNA officially becomes part of Division I athletics, Steve Pierce will begin lobbying for a new football stadium. 


Speaking of new, how's the proposed Sheffield Inspiration Landing coming along? The developer plans for the amphitheatre (the cheapest component) to be the first completed project, sometime in Spring 2018. While few things ever finish exactly on schedule, the amphitheatre must be completed by around June 20th to adhere to the current plans. We assume that would mean starting construction by at least Spring 2017.

We eagerly await any updates...

Friday, December 16, 2016

Christmas Giving? We Have Ideas!

It’s less than 10 days until Christmas and you still need some gifts? Here are two ideas that can’t be topped:

Most of your friends have everything they need already, right? Then give a donation to HASRA in their honor. You can do this by adopting a homeless animal from one of the HASRA trees:

Now that you have at least some of your gifts covered, what do you give the local historian? A John Morgan print!

John Morgan was a Cherokee artist who specialized in painting local scenes while incorporating local residents into the vignettes. A Florence eBayer has 19 of Morgan’s large prints on sale at a very good price.

Our favorites? We have Before the Tennessean in our personal collection, but will admit the Rogers Department Store print is our favorite. Look closely and you will see Tom Rogers III among those watching a parade in front of the iconic establishment. 

Many of Morgan’s works depict trains. You’ll also notice a dog in most of Morgan’s prints. The late artist couldn’t resist painting his beloved canine in each of these scenes…and who could blame him?



We notice that most of the Morgan prints on sale came from the former First National Bank. SunTrust purchased First National some years ago. We assume the Atlanta banking institution had no use for local history…just like our “local” newspaper.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

More DHR Corruption?

Alabama DHR is the recipient of much criticism. Is it unjust? Unfortunately, we find in most cases, it certainly isn’t undue. We’ve recently been contacted by a local woman who had sought to gain custody of her daughter’s two daughters who were in the care of the state. Not only was custody not granted to the grandmother and her husband, DHR failed to tell them that their daughter had given birth to a son who was also in state custody.

Perhaps the grandparents’ right to know is debatable? We welcome comments on this issue or any new problems our readers have faced with Alabama DHR.



Have you been keeping up with the Chelsea Fike case? Considering the severity of harm done to her young son, we’re surprised it took the state two years to gather enough evidence to arrest the live-in boyfriend of the Lawrence County woman. During this time, Chelsea told her supporters that Ian died from unknown causes and collected money for his funeral and monument. 

Our blogger L. Stone sent this:

M is for the Murder charge

O is for the Other dude she brought into the children's lives

T is for the Trauma on the small bodies

H is for the Hell the children went through

E is for the Extreme indifference to human life

R is for the Reckoning in the execution chamber that she will no doubt avoid


It’s been announced that Dr. Jennifer Gray will become the new assistant principal at Brooks Elementary School. Will this be an improvement? Comments always welcome.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Fast Food Stories/Christmas

Fast Food Stories and Christmas
By: The Midnight Rider
The Rider has posted several times about Fast Food horror or funny stories. This week I have two more.
Jack’s in Sheffield:
This is more of a “no wonder workers don’t care” story than anything. I was at Jack’s in Sheffield for lunch. It was pretty crowded. A Manager was at the center of the counter. A worker was at the end of the counter. This is basically what happened:
Manager: I’ve clocked you out.
Worker: Ok
Manager: You were $10 short on your drawer.
Worker: I don’t see how. I would like to see the tally form. [The worker turns to walk toward the officer]
Manager: Don’t you go into that office.  I’m busy now but I will have your Write Up ready for you in the morning.
Worker:  [Walks off]
I don’t know the worker or the Manager but I do know the restaurant was crowded and this was a conversation that should have been done in private. Plus having this conversation a half a counter away, everyone heard it. Treating employees like that is why you don’t get the best employees. If the worker was short on her drawer, she should have been able to look at the tally sheet.
Thumbs Down.

Burger King in Tuscumbia
This happened this morning. I go to the Burger King on Highway 72 in Tuscumbia. I was the only one in the Drive Through when this took place.
Me: I would like a Ham & Biscuit as well as French Toast Sticks
BK: That’s a Ham, Egg and Cheese Biscuit with a Cinnamon Roll
Me: No, I want a Ham Biscuit and French Toast Sticks
BK: Ok, a Ham Biscuit and a Cinnamon Roll
Me: No. I don’t want a Cinnamon Roll.  I want French Toast Sticks
BK: A Ham Biscuit and a 3 piece French Toast Sticks
Me: If you don’t mind, let me have the 5 piece French Sticks
BK: Ok a Ham Biscuit and a 3 piece French Toast Sticks.
Me:  [I give up]  Sure, why not.

2 thumbs down.
Christmas is right around the corner. Don’t lose sight of the true meaning of the holiday. It is not commercialized as some would like you to think.
Merry Christmas
The Midnight Rider

I am and always will be, the midnight rider

It appears the Old Railroad Bridge Company now has the names of the two girls who recently defaced an area around the bridge. Let's hope a little vandal shaming will take care of this problem.
We've deleted Shoals News from our sidebar since that site has ceased to publish. We understand there's a new site in the works; we'll link it as soon as it's up.