Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A Chief's Story/Public Information

From the Midnight Rider:

A Chief’s Story: Internal or External?
By: The Midnight Rider
Recently, the Muscle Shoals Police Department named a new Chief of Police when Robert Evans had decided to retire. While we knew the three candidates well enough to speak to them, they all appeared to be good candidates. Capt. Clint Reck was named the new Chief. We want to congratulate him on the promotion and hope him the best.
While writing the above, we had the thought, is it best to hire within the Department or outside the Department. We spoke to several employees at the various Departments and got positive reviews. Actually we didn’t hear anything negative. Let’s look at some examples:
Colbert Co Sheriff’s Dept. Frank Williamson. Sheriff Williamson was a Sheriff’s Deputy before winning the last election. He has implemented things that have brought the Sheriff’s Department into this Century.
Florence Police Department. Ron Tyler. Chief Tyler worked his way up the Ranks. FPD seems to be better accepted by the citizens.
Lauderdale Co Sheriff’s Dept. Rick Singleton. Sheriff Singleton has definitely brought new ideas and updates to the Sheriff’s Dept.
Tuscumbia Police Dept. Tony Logan. Chief Logan has brought Pride back to the Tuscumbia Police Department. The pay may not be the best but the Officers seem happy.
So, which way is the best, we don’t know. Both seem to have its merits. Sheffield Police Department is the last Department in this area to not to have a new Chief or Sheriff’. But of course, Sheffield has a major turnover problem. When it is time to hire a new Chief at Sheffield, should it be internal or external? Probably the best is to hire someone that has no idea where Sheffield, AL is. They can come in and shake the place up. However, how are you going to get a quality person with what they are paid at Sheffield?

The Riots
As most you know, as seen on the television, newspapers or internet, there are Riots in Milwaukee after an Officer Involved Shooting. As we sat watching the news on Sunday morning, there was a report of a Firetruck and Ambulance that had come under Gunfire while responding to one of the many fires there. Okay, Mr. Rioter, those First Responders are trying to help you. If you keep shooting at them, they will stop coming to help you. Then what will you do?
Until next time…
I am and always will be, the Midnight Rider.


Readers, usually more aptly termed critics, often contact us or make remarks on Facebook about information contained in this blog. The critics also take swipes at the Shoals Insider and the Quad-Cities Daily which publish arrest records and Pen-N-Sword which publishes certain high profile arrest articles and later follows up on the disposition of these miscreants.

Apparently these critics slept through the year 2000 or thereabouts when the Alabama open records act was passed. The act covers several areas, but for our purposes we’re discussing only information concerning prisoners.

With the exception of prisoner transfers (shuttling a prisoner from the county lockup to the state facility), prisoners sent for temporary medical treatment (drug rehab not included) and the very few in protective custody, the public has the right to know where a prisoner is at any time.

Perhaps the most interesting thing is that the law coincided with the advent of a true Internet. In other words, open records plus Internet equals a major breakthrough in public knowledge. No longer can a mother tell her neighbors that Little Johnny is away working on the Alaska pipeline when in fact he’s down south working in a prison laundry.

So when you rant and rave about such articles being “gossip” and “no one’s business,” you don’t look very intelligent, do you?

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Fourth Anniversary of Mr. Elbert Davis' Murder

It has now been four years since Mr. Elbert Farley Davis was attacked in his own home. From an earlier blog:

In August 2012, Mr. Elbert Farley Davis Jr. was found unconscious in his Tuscumbia home; he died a short while later of his injuries. We don't think Mr. Davis' attacker originally intended to murder the 88 year-old WWII veteran. Mr. Davis' home was the target for some thug who wanted quick cash and some drugs in the mix to boot.

There's currently a five thousand dollar reward offered for information in this murder. Yes, the thug will be charged with Capital Murder since Mr. Davis died in connection with a robbery. That's a lot of money. Someone knows something.

Mr. Davis was truly an innocent victim. He wasn't a drug dealer, drug user, abuser, adulterer, or gambling kingpin. He simply got in the way of a burglary and paid the ultimate price. If you know something, say something.

Tuscumbia Police urge anyone with information about Elbert Davis’s murder to contact the Shoals Area Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 256-386-8685.

We understand the reward is actually much more than $5,000.00. Reward or not, anyone with information should come forward to bring justice to the murderer and at least some closure to the family. This blog never has less than 3K readers a day, and 10K isn't unusual. We believe that someone reading this blog today knows something that will help Tuscumbia Police break this case. What if you die tomorrow and your information dies with you?

Think about it...and then do the right thing.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Panty Tree?/Tuscumbia Muskrat?

You can’t say that our blog isn’t ready to jump into the pressing issues of the day, and with that we’ll attempt to answer the important question of just who owns the panty tree under the Old Railroad Bridge. The Midnight Rider has assigned the tree to Sheffield, but at least one reader has questioned that, asserting the tree is closer to Florence than Sheffield.

We’ve learned that a few year ago, a man lost his hat while on the bridge and then jumped down to retrieve it. In most news articles this is where one would insert that police believe alcohol was involved in the incident. Upon retrieving the hat, the man found that he couldn’t climb back to his spot on the bridge and was stranded. He called 911, but who helped?

Sheffield Police and Fire said it was Florence’s problem and Florence Police and Fire said it was Sheffield’s. Is the man still stranded there? No, finally Lauderdale EMA put a boat in the water and rescued him.

The bridge itself has been declared in Sheffield, if that helps decide the issue, but the land itself? We’re awaiting opinions from some more experts, so feel free to comment.


What has happened to the Tuscumbia Muskrat? We’ve received questions and have two possible answers, but if the Muskrat is still out there, even not posting, please contact us.


Sunday, August 28, 2016

Valerie Parkhurst/A Serpent's Tooth

We recently blogged on sex offender activist Derek Logue who some time ago named three people as being part of our blogging team or at least being associated with us in some manner. We discussed the Killen woman and briefly touched on the second, Valerie Parkhurst, who lived well outside the Shoals area.

As far as we know, Ms. Parkhurst never even commented on our blog, but suffice it to say, we’re positive she’s never written anything for us. Until today we assumed she was a blogger who championed tighter sex offender laws.

No, it seems Ms. Parkhurst, whom Logue insists on calling the “Valigator,” was a real estate agent in Florida. She came to the conclusion that if the law stated a realtor had to tell a client about a bad roof, the realtor should also inform prospective buyers of any sex offenders in the area. She was successful in helping enact this law in her state.

Ms. Parkhurst’s other claim to fame, the event that Logue constantly blogs on, was less noble, but hardly evil. As Parkhurst’s activism became known, she became the target of sex offenders. When one confronted her one day and she feared for her life, she drew her gun from her purse. The convicted sex offender had her arrested on some type of intimidation charge which was later dismissed.

Sadly, Ms. Parkhurst passed away July 27th. We assume she will no longer be the brunt of Logue’s misplaced hysteria.


How many of you want to move to New York City? That’s what we thought. One of our readers told us yesterday that we couldn’t make it there as she had done. No, according to AB, those left here are, as we understand her meaning, inferior.

The saddest part of this exchange is that we’ve known three generations of AB’s family, many of whom are still “left behind” here in Florence. Her family attempted to give her the best so that she can now live where she wishes.

Anyone have a serpent’s tooth icon?


If we didn’t live in Florence?

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Lawyer Up/Roll Over/You Can Leave Your Hat On...

Lawyer Up! 

It may sound like a cutesy phrase, but if you’re ever accused of a criminal act, whether innocent or guilty, it’s the first thing you should do. Feel free to use these exact words:

While I assure you I’m totally innocent, I’m not giving you even my middle name without an attorney. No, I don’t have money for an attorney; therefore, I expect you to appoint me one. I also expect the attorney to be one experienced in criminal matters and not some real estate/patent lawyer you dragged out of the lobby where he/she was attempting to get an accident report.

That being said, why in the name of Lucrezia Borgia didn’t Erica Fox ask for an attorney before she made any statement to police? We don’t think anyone considers this woman intelligent, much less moral, but you can bet the first thing her attorney (unlucky person that may be) will do is to attempt to get her statement thrown out…and the attempt just might be successful.


Roll Over!

That will be next for Erica. She’ll avoid a Capital Murder conviction and be out in around 15 years. That’s unless Ronnie and his brother have some powerful voodoo up their sleeves to turn the tables on Erica. We doubt it, but it would be worth the price of admission to see them try.

Call it rolling, flipping, or turning state’s evidence, it’s a very popular pastime in the legal world. For those who enjoy watching this particular maneuver, we’re expecting to see quite a bit of it in the Chip Dillard/Tim Staggs trials come December, or whenever that riveting case does make it before a judge. In fact, there may just be a little of that going on this very week.


You can leave your hat on!

Some time ago we gave our first “Born in a Barn” award to an elected official who was pictured in the TD wearing his hat at an official function. We never heard from him, but were told his wife and mother thought it was hilarious and hoped it taught him a lesson.

Our second award was bumped and then overlooked, but it was presented to a local (actually national) celebrity with enough money to be able to forgo morals and manners. Our third? Unfortunately, in haste, we didn’t consider that the egregious offender wasn’t a pubic personage and for that we apologize.

However, the recipient of our award, over a week later, then left obscene remarks on all intervening posts…many of them from the Alabama Political Reporter, Pen-N-Sword, and the Shoals Insider. If this person had contacted us via e-mail and asked about the post, it would have taken five minutes or less for us to have decided it should be taken down.

Now? After his language to us as well as many innocent commenters who had no idea why they were the recipient of such language, we pretty much think he deserves the award. We’ve also been informed the man is a professional musician who’s using the post to increase his visibility. Let’s hope he has more musical talent than he has common sense. We do, in future, promise that any recipient of this award will be a public personage.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Just How Drunk is Your Hometown?

From the Midnight Rider:

Some Lists For Your Consideration

Recnetly AL.COM ranked the “Drunkest Cities in Alabama.” First of all, is that really a ranking that your Town or City wants to be on. The List is as follows:

1. Gulf Shores

2. Birmingham

3. Guntersville

4. Tuscaloosa

5. Foley

6. Anniston

7. Huntsville

8. Lincoln

9. Sheffield

10. Cullman

As I read the list, imagine my thoughts when I saw #9. Recently, you may remember that the Rider wrote an article about the City of Sheffield creating a “mini Beale Street” with the fixing up of downtown. As we had stated the sale of alcohol and the Sales Tax off of Alcohol especially with several bars, taverns or restaurants in a single area breeds Crime. 

So now the Citizens of Sheffield can share that they made the Drunkiest City in Alabama List. I am sure the City of Sheffield is on many other lists. Remember they have the Panty Tree in Sheffield which we are sure is on the Shoals Attraction List. 

Sheffield Panty Tree

Logan’s Files for Bankruptcy

From the Logan’s Corporate website:

Twenty-one locations of Logan's Roadhouse will be closed as part of the chain's bankruptcy proceedings. The Nashville, Tennessee-based steakhouse chain filed for bankruptcy last week. The chain operates 250 locations nationwide, including 23 in Alabama. Logan's parent company, LRI Holdings Inc., cited years of declining sales and greater competition from fast-casual restaurant chains as contributing factors in its financial issues.

For the quarter ending Oct. 28, the chain saw revenue drop 9.9 percent to $131.3 million, with same-store sales falling more than 4 percent. The company originally said it would close 18 locations but commercial real estate analysts with CoStar said Logans is asking the court to reject leases on 21 of its restaurants. Logan's has not responded to emails seeking confirmation of the list.

Those locations are:

2649 S. Market Street, Gilbert, Arizona

11674 University Dr, Orlando, Florida

7480 W. Colonial Drive, Orlando, Florida

1230 N Westover Blvd., Albany, Georgia

101 Capital Square Drive, Brunswick, Georgia

11301 Abercorn Street, Savannah, Georgia

51 Lincoln Hwy, Fairview Heights, Illinois

4825 E. 82nd St, Indianapolis, Indiana

10780 Parallel Pkwy, Kansas City, Kansas

7940 W 135th St, Overland Park, Kansas

3050 Riffel Dr., Salina, Kansas

2945 Wimsatt Ct, Owensboro, Kentucky

6571 Blue Bonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, Louisiana

3323 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy, Lafayette, Louisiana

14235 Hall Road, Shelby Township, Michigan

7110 Sawmill Rd, Columbus, Ohio

2310 Wilkes-Barre Township M, Wilkes- Barre, Pennsylvania

2200 S. Hwy 6, Houston, Texas

21119 US-281, San Antonio, Texas

12821 Fair Lakes Pkwy, Fairfax, Virginia

46321 McClellan Way, Sterling, Virginia

We have read the articles about the bad service/food from the Muscle Shoals Logan’s We wonder if they will be next.

Sadly, We must report that the Ruby Tuesday’s Florence Location has been closed. It is sad to see any business close. 

Until next time..

I am and always will be, the Midnight Rider.


We've had several comments about the photo/video we discussed yesterday in which a toddler was ostensibly given alcohol to drink. Reports differ, but the video could be as much as five years old and originate in Gadsden. Welcome to the world of urban myth.

However, our blogger Jasper Black has reminded us that if you find or receive any similar media in which someone is being abused, do not delete. The media itself may contain identifying hallmarks which can be used to locate the source.


Time for a new award: We're giving our friends at PNS the Tom Smith Geography Award for citing the corner of Avalon and Second Street in an article on a recent police chase.

Sorry. We couldn't resist...

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Drunk Baby in Tuscumbia?/Political Rumors

Help ID This Child

On rare occasions, we receive complaints of child abuse. One recent message to us contained a photo of a child, allegedly from Tuscumbia, being given shots of whiskey to drink. The child appeared to be between the age of 12 and 18 months.

The story goes that the photos were found on an SD card, and information about the family pictured is scant. The Tuscumbia police department is aware of the situation. They are thoroughly investigating and asking for assistance from anyone having more information.


After Independence Day we received a photo of a young couple where the father was “abusing” the child with a sparkler. We looked at the picture and considered it more neglect than abuse. We certainly know the shot was sent to us since the father is a life-long felon. While we may personally dislike someone, we do try to be fair. It’s our opinion the child was suffering from neglect and not direct abuse. We advised the reader to contact DHR himself and have heard nothing of the matter since. 

People aren't born knowing how to parent a child. Add alcohol to the mix and it's a miracle the human race has survived this long.


While we know DHR is not perfect, there’s little we can do here except make others aware of the situation. If you feel there is a real danger to a child or person unable to care for himself, we welcome your input here, but DHR or police should always be notified first.


Rumors? Apparently many individuals don’t know the definition of rumor. A documented investigation is not rumor, but fact.

What of actual rumors? There are some floating around about various political candidates which have no basis in fact. When you hear a story about a candidate, be sure to ask the teller where he/she heard it. If the person “knows” the validity of these rumors, particularly involving illegal behavior, also be sure to ask why the teller hasn’t reported the events to authorities.

At the end of election season, we’re always amazed that anyone chooses to run for political office.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Election Post Mortem/Hershel Graham

Round One is over, and was it ever interesting!

First up, Lexington: Sandra Burroughs Killen’s opponent garnered 23 votes. Apparently the incumbent had been mayor in name only since no one else would accept the job. Once Sandra gets Lexington straightened out, we’re hoping she’ll next take on the Florence-Lauderdale Tourism Board.

Sheffield District Two: Sebastian Devaughn received zero votes. That’s right. She didn’t even vote for herself. We don’t believe Ms. Devaughn is registered to vote, and obviously everyone else smelled a rat with her campaign.

Florence: The mayor’s race was a shocker. We had privately predicted a runoff between Haddock and Goode. We’ll be addressing this race later. District Six? Another shocker…not so much that Andy Betterton won as that 85 year-old autocrat Bob Hill came in second. District One? Dave Smith presented with many more votes that we ever imagined he would. Prince is writing his blog as we write ours…and foaming a little at the mouth.

Rogersville: The beleaguered Hagood not only received an almost minuscule portion of the votes, he can’t even get the TD to spell his name correctly.


With eight months left to go on his two year sentence, Hershel Graham has returned to his late father’s home in Red Bay. He is ostensibly under house arrest while on furlough to die ala Oliver Brazelle, so if any of our readers see him at the Russellville Walmart or any of his other favorite haunts, please let us know.


Anyone have any idea why this man never got ahead in the world?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Lawyers, Sex, Money, & Murder: How Erica Fox Plotted to Have It All

When Erica Rae Green’s engagement to Jason Lee Fox was announced in 1998, the Muscle Shoals high student was stated to work for Tuscumbia attorney John D. Clement Jr. Given her age at the time, the now 36 year-old alleged murderess probably did little more than answer the phones and take messages. It’s unknown how long she worked for Clement, but attorneys reportedly still played a large role in her life in 2016.

News sources have indicated Fox had more than one accident case pending, and a knowledgeable informant reported that the new widow spoke with attorney Joel Hamner on Friday morning (the day of her first arrest) asking what kind of award she could expect in the case. She reportedly needed $100,000.00 for an attorney—presumably not one in the Alexander Shunnarah mold. We understand her incarceration puts a damper on these cases…insert gypsy violin music here.

Judgments from accidents weren’t the only financial windfalls Erica hoped to gain. Her husband Jason reportedly had insurance appropriate for a married man with three children. Both Erica and Ronnie coveted that little bundle.

Yet, Ronnie Lee Credille wasn’t alone in his affection for the 250 pound Muscle Shoals housewife. Erica reportedly admitted to police that she had several lovers, but Ronnie was her main man.

Ronnie, divorced for around two years, living with family in Florence, and having to borrow a vehicle to make the trek to Muscle Shoals to murder Jason, must have looked better to Erica than he does to us. We can only imagine what her other side men must have been like if Ronnie Credille was her primary lover.

And Jason Lee Fox, husband, father, son, brother, church-goer never knew what hit him. We’ve read that Ronnie’s ex-wife and the mother of his son has been online proclaiming his innocence. We expect to hear from her as well as a handful of others about our opinions of Ronnie and Erica. We fully expect them to be filled with profanity and vitriol and to blame the victim. Some will also call for some avenging angel to thrash all the bloggers here within an inch of our lives…that’s just so everyone will know what really nice folks they are.

So comment away. In the interim, we’ll be visualizing Erica and Ronnie and their future life (and we do mean life) in prison.


Anyone else wonder how an overweight woman with a house, a job, a husband, and three kids found the time to have multiple affairs? If she should miraculously win her freedom, we predict a career in vitamin endorsements for Erica.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Ruff, You Florence Guys!

Everyone in Florence, listen up:

Here's what you need to do tomorrow...

1. Vote for Susan Goode for mayor!

2. Vote for anyone but Dave Smith in District 1!

Remember, I've been to basic obedience school at Texas A&M and got my masters at Auburn. I know my stuff!

Prince, Your Faithful Canine-American Blogger

The Philistines of Rogersville

Someone, perhaps several people, sent out a letter in Rogersville recently. These individuals support Richard Herston’s opponent whom we endorsed. The letters contained incorrect information and bordered on libel if not actually 
touching it.

We know that the Anti-Herston crowd involves at least two individuals, one a businessman who is on the surface supporting Herston while backstabbing at every opportunity. The second is one we believe contacted us concerning Herston’s use of town funding.

Does Herston’s opponent support what these two individuals are doing? If he does, Rogersville, you’re up Cripple Creek. You deserve better than one candidate who doesn't care about you and refuses to tell you the truth and a second candidate who will attempt to win at any cost.

Let’s see if you can’t do better in four years.


Remember to vote tomorrow. Also remember this:

1. No matter who wins, your town will have the same problems to face.

2. No matter who wins, your town will have the same budget with which to work.

3. If you don’t communicate in some manner with whoever wins, the new office-holder won’t know your opinions/feelings.


Sources say the Kelley Group, a business whose bread and butter is municipal contracts, is not only backing Herston in Rogersville, but Kerry Underwood in Tuscumbia. We wholeheartedly support Mr. Underwood, but when any group gives large sums to candidates, we should always take an extra look at them.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Midnight Rider on Elections

It’s Time to Make a Difference
By: The Midnight Rider
Usually The Rider writes about things that are wrong, might not be right or something humorous. This time, The Rider is going to write about something serious. This Tuesday, August 23rd, make your voice heard. YOU NEED TO VOTE! While we have written that we were disappointed with the number of people who decided to run, the people that did run deserve your support.
Our forefathers gave their lives to make this Country and You free. You have the Right to vote because of the men and women throughout the years that have made the ultimate sacrifice for You. This is the United States of America. A Free Country. We are Americans by Birth and Southern by the Grace of God.
While we do not live in the City limits and cannot vote in Municipal Elections, we have been following the elections. We are going to make a few recommendations. These recommendations are based on the candidates that have impressed us during the last couple of weeks. We would like to for you to consider the following candidates for your vote:
Tuscumbia Mayor:  Kerry Underwood
Tuscumbia District One:  Katie Logan
Sheffield District 4:  Penny Freeman
Lexington Mayor:  Sandra Killen Burroughs
Again, there are a lot of elections going on; these are the ones that stood out to us. It’s time for the People to be heard. Go vote.
Until next time….
I am and always will be, the Midnight Rider.
From a Rogersville reader:
Does the term robber baron mean anything to anyone anymore?


Be sure to check out Cherry's review of a North Florence staple:


Due to the advent of elections, we may make more than one post tomorrow. Please keep checking back.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Killen/Starkey Shooter Trial

If any candidates have last minute announcements, please send them now so they can be published before the election. All readers living in incorporated areas are asked to take the time to vote on Tuesday. If you don’t, please don’t complain to us at a later date.


No, it’s not too early to start thinking about runoffs. Several elections are featuring three candidates, and Florence’s mayoral race is boasting a field of five. While two of the mayoral candidates will garner what may be considered a miniscule amount of votes, these will be votes the top three won’t get. We’ll be very surprised if there isn’t a runoff in that race, a runoff where the majority of registered voters will sit home and say “ho, hum.”

And PresBO wanted to make voting mandatory for every citizen…



Town of Killen Municipal election is Tuesday, August 23, at First Baptist Church. Polls open at 7:00 am and close at 7:00 pm. Running for Council are as follows and in alphabetical order for each place. Names will appear on ballot as:

Council Place 1
Ryan Blessing
Robert White

We like Ryan Blessing and you should too!

Council Place 2
Don Owens
Mary Ann Rippey

Mary Ann Rippey has what it takes.

Council Place 3
Pamela Hardison
Connie Parrish

No recommendation, except that both need to learn how to use the Internet for their advantage.


A time out from election talk to say a few words about…the Olympics. The U.S. medal count is great, and it should be. Look how large our country is. Have you noticed who’s ranked second in the medal count? It’s Great Britain. For all our British cousins residing here in the Shoals, we say “Way to go!”


We continue to receive comments on recent legal verdicts, some fair, others unfair. Remember, a judge can’t sentence a defendant if the accused hasn’t been convicted. It seems pretty straight forward, but some still don’t seem to get it.

If you think our system in Alabama is lacking in…oh, common sense, just look at Florida. John Marshall Fitzgerald went on trial on Thursday in the attempted murder of Rivers Starkey. By Friday night, a jury of 12 was’t able to agree on a verdict. We would have thought four shots fired into an unarmed man would be pretty easy to comprehend, but apparently not.


Note: Everyone with I-Phones or other Apple products should now be able to see the posts of our friends at PNS.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Return to Tuscumbia & Lexington

We've previously endorsed Sandra Killen-Burroughs for mayor of the uber small Lauderdale town of Lexington. We're also going with the gals for the two contested town council seats. Peggy McGee and Carla McGee are sure winners!


Tuscumbia? Similarly we've previously endorsed Kerry Underwood for mayor. The small Colbert County town has a number of council seats up for grabs. Choose wisely.

District 1 – Katherine Logan, Robert Polk: We endorse Katie Logan. She has what it takes!

District 2 – George Johnson, Geraldine Tompkins: No recommendation

District 3 – Dave Couch, William Foster, Tom McCormack: Dave Couch has the business acumen. A winner for everyone!

District 4 – Richard Coates, Paul Haley: Paul Haley.

District 5 – Mike Isom, Terry Willis: This election has already been decided since the Ethics Commission barred Terry Willis from running. Congrats, Mr. Isom!


A comment about comments: Comments with profanity or vulgarity will not be published either here or on Facebook. We also refuse to publish comments which encourage violence. We had one of those in support of Ashley Reaves, but it was removed before we could delete it. We're happy to publish comments not in support of our views, but please remember our guidelines.

Important: On extremely rare occasions, a comment will unfairly hurt a bereaved person or family and we will not publish for that reason. We received such a comment a few days ago from someone we believe to be L.V. We will be happy to speak with you via our e-mail: 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Russellville Still Has Problems/Voter Fraud

The way to solve problems is first to acknowledge them. Acknowledgement in any area of concern seems hard for many in the Shoals, judging from comments we've received over the years. After Troy Oliver left office, the town of Russellville had a chance to move forward...and it has. The question is: Is Russellville moving forward at a pace to even keep up, much less get ahead?

There are three candidates for mayor in Tuesday's election. David Grissom is the incumbent, who like most politicians is taking credit for the sun rising in the east each day. Then we have Randy Bray who doesn't seem to have much of a platform unless you consider his constant use of the word "equality." Finally we have Donnie Horton, a long-time businessman with fresh ideas to promote the city, especially its downtown.

We consider a vote for Randy Bray a vote to move backward. Neither Grissom nor Horton has addressed the animal control situation in Russellivlle. We can understand that when citizens have near-starving children, they have scant inclination to think of animals. How does one rise from the depths that Russellville has fallen into?

Any candidate can promise economic prosperity and more jobs. Russellville voters have the choice of Grissom or Horton to make these promises come true. While David Grissom hasn't failed at his promises, he hasn't succeeded either. We're endorsing Donnie Horton as a man who can get things done.


Return to Florence? Perennial candidate John Hargett is actually campaigning for District Four council member. Readers actually have questions about Michelle Eubanks' record. Tom Wissert is holding steady.

We didn't previously offer a recommendation in this race, but if any readers have more comments, please send them. We will have more before the election


We see that Florence mayor Mickey Haddock is claiming to have achieved work toward a new senior center. Perhaps he could elucidate the voters with an actual example of that work?


Poor Sheffield? Will District Two (apologies for referring to this race as District One yesterday) become ground zero for election fraud complaints?


Is Alabama the only area to see the loonies come out of the woodwork at election time? Not quite. Remember this guy?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Sheffield Elections/First Responders?

From a reader: Thank you for what you do. As a volunteer firefighter in Cherokee I did want to make one correction to your recent blog. It was not our fire department but the Cherokee Rescue Squad where the funds were embezzled. Like you, I’m waiting for these new indictments to be handed down and am very sorry any of our firefighting brothers have been guilty of this. Thank you.

We’re happy to make that correction and many thanks to the Cherokee Volunteer Fire Department for its good works. Also for the readers who asked, the Cherokee money was repaid; the Lawrence County, Tennessee, cases have not yet been adjudicated, but considering the amount of money allegedly stolen, it’s doubtful all can be recovered.


From a reader in Eastern Lauderdale County:

From February: An Alabama lawmaker is seeking to have drivers ticketed if they are staying too long in the far left lane of an interstate.

In the news today: Legislation to make harming a first responder a hate crime

Does all of his ideas come from conversations at the Green Hill convenience store?

Don't get me wrong they are not terrible ideas. It is just that we need better. We deserve better....

Our take on the law is simply: Who is correctly categorized as a “first responder?” From the website of National First Responders:

At NFRO, our definition of a First Responder is simple: A First Responder is any individual who runs toward an event rather than away. The list below is not exhaustive, but only a sampling of First Responders. If you feel you should be on this list send an email with your story to!

Police Officer
Peace Officer
FBI Agent
US Secret Service Agent
US Marshal

Deputy Sheriff
Special Deputy Sheriff
Under Sheriff

Emergency Medical Technician
Physician Assistant
Dog Warden

Animal Control Officer
SPCA Officer
Correction Officer

Life Guard
TSA Officer
Special Police

DEA Agent
Fish and Wildlife Officer
DEC Official
Emergency Medical Professional
FEMA Official

Homeland Security Agent
Air National Guard Soldier
US Army
US Navy
US Marine

US Air Force
US Coast Guard
Public Safety Official

District Attorney
Assistant District Attorney
Probation Officer
Elected Official 

ATF Agent
State Coordinator
County Coordinator
Town Coordinator
Ladies Auxiliary

Campus Security
Security Guard
Fire Marshal
Harbor Patrol
Harbor Police

Court Officer
CERT Member
Public Information Officer

Military Police
Environmental Police
K-9 Officer
Auxiliary Police
Park Police

Park Ranger
National Seashore Officer
Bridge and Tunnel Officer
Conservation Officer
Diplomatic Security

Private Investigator
Citizens Police Academy Graduate
Police Explorer
Corporate Security Officer
Insurance Investigator

Air Marshal
Civil Air Patrol
Game Warden
Postal Inspector
Transit Police

Red Cross Member
EPA Officer
ICE Agent
Border Patrol

Air Traffic Controller
University Police
Parole Officer
Fire Commissioner

That’s quite a list. We can’t think of any local situations where a first responder has been harmed in any way, but we welcome comments.


Sheffield has two council seats up for grabs next Tuesday. Here’s the rundown:

District Four: Mary Stevens or Penny Freeman? We say give Penny Freeman a chance. She has fresh ideas and has promised to work with the council to achieve their implementation. 

June 2016 Mug Shot

District Two: Sebastian Devaughn, Dewayne Roden, or Gary Scales? An informed source has told us the candidacy of Devaughn has been or will be contested. That leaves Roden or Scales? Scales is the incumbent; however, we’re going with Roden. Sheffield deserves more than the current status quo.


We regularly publish comments and articles from readers. Unless they state they want their name published, we NEVER identify an author. We will say that many articles, etc. are published in answer to stories first appearing in the TD and are not meant to be a complete picture of any event or situation. In other words, if the TD has covered that aspect of the subject, most writers don’t feel the need to reiterate; they are simply attempting to elaborate where they think it is needed. No two people ever see the same aspects of any situation—that’s what makes historical accounts, court room trials, and boudoir memoirs so interesting.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Muscle Shoals Municipal Elections/SNAP

In less than seven days, the Shoals will hold municipal elections. Unfortunately, many will not vote. It’s unfathomable why some won’t vote in a city election where their ballot just might make a real difference, but proudly brag of voting in a presidential race which, at least in Alabama, is a foregone conclusion.

We’ve discussed Florence, now let’s venture to Muscle Shoals. Up for grabs are three city council seats. Each of the three has only two candidates, so the Tuesday election is the whole shebang.

Place One:

Chris Hall – A realtor who uses a sea of rhetoric in his platform. You can find his platform on his FB page, but basically he wants to meet challenges, support the city and its services, and do what’s right in general. So what does the reader learn from this? Absolutely nothing unless you count the fact that Mr. Hall needs professional help with his writing. Another long article in the TD conveys only that Hall wants to see more cooperation among local governments.

Don Terry – A former police officer. Terry has concrete ideas to improve police and fire services. While he doesn’t enumerate all the “changes” he wants to see in Muscle Shoals, he at least is specific in part of his platform.

Do we have a recommendation? Yes, we endorse Don Terry and suggest Chris Hall get some serious help with his writing.

Place Four:

Ken Sockwell – A credit union employee. Sockwell’s entire platform is “more jobs.” Beyond that, he sings the praises of the city, but offers no concrete ideas for advancement in any areas.

Mike Price – A commercial maintenance tech. Price’s platform? More jobs. He also touts his decision making skills, but doesn’t offer any data to back them up.

Our recommendation? Take your pick. If either one wants to stand out, he’s not doing a very good job of it.

Place Five:

Allen Noles - Retired from Electric Board. Noles is a long serving council member. His platform, while not innovative, at least proves he can read and write well. His ideas are to expand educational opportunities and city services. Some of our readers have called Noles a “yes man.” From the few documents available to us, we’re not particularly seeing that, but will mention it in the for what it’s worth department.

Daron Goodloe - Instructor at a local community college. In checking on Mr. Goodloe’s qualifications, we can find nothing in the TD or FB. His LinkedIn profile is scant. In other words, Mr. Goodloe is an unknown quantity and doesn’t appear to be putting very much into this race.

Recommendation? Allen Noles has the ability and the experience. We will suggest that since Mr. Noles is retired, he set up some system where the citizens can easily contact him online with their concerns. We’re not seeing “yes man” here; we’re actually seeing more qualifications than the current mayor.


The Foghorn Leghorn Award – We’ve never given this award before, but after reading Chris Hall’s platform on FB, he’s the hands down winner.


Quite close to some recent conversations:

SS: John Doe, 25, is serving a ten year prison sentence for the theft of 11 cows, six pairs of knickers, and a crack pipe.

Reader: You dumb idiot you. You lie. You got it all wrong. He’s 26.


In the “Compassion Isn’t What It Used to Be” department, it’s great to serve your community as a fire chief, but FB posts ridiculing SNAP recipients don’t speak well of you or anyone else. Certainly the program is abused by some, and we’ve very glad you’re able to support your family/families without using it, but things change. It’s always good to remember that.


Coming to Russellville this weekend: