Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Slush Fund?/Missing from Sheffield?

IF the Times Daily wanted to do a REAL article, they will get the records on what Ronnie May and Ronnie Willis took home with them from their slush funds.

What is the amount in Rick Singleton's and Frank Williamson's slush funds? WHY is it considered "The Sheriff's Slush Fund" when it is generated inside the taxpayer's facilities and by people working on the taxpayer's payrolls?

Mr. Williamson and Mr. Singleton, don't ask for us taxpayer's to keep giving up our hard earned money while you sit on a slush fund that YOU control and will get to take home with you when you're voted out.


We the PEOPLE are TIRED of being TAXED TO DEATH.

Stay tuned for more about our "servants" wanting more money!

Leslie M. Shoals


BOLO for Missing Speed Bump

After a really looooong wait, the Sheffield Street Dept. finally managed to have a much-awaited, and VERY needed, speed bump installed at the crosswalk in front of Sheffield High School earlier this school year.  However, it apparently wasn't 'meant to be', as the speed bump has apparently been REMOVED (stolen, perhaps???). Have no fear, though: the sign warning of a 'speed bump' remains to protect students crossing the street at that location.

Monday, February 27, 2017

UNA & Discrimination?

We've received the following from a reader. While Pen-N-Sword has done numerous articles on the discrimination suits filed against the university, we feel this is worth publishing (pardon if we step on PNS' toes.):

The Times Daily can write articles about UNA winning diversity awards but conveniently Jennifer Edwards chooses to ignore discrimination information that was written by a student in UNA's student newspaper the FlorAla. I know for a fact Times Daily reporters are very aware of these lawsuits. Check it out for yourself. It is time that the "real" UNA is exposed.

The Northern District of Alabama U.S. District court issued a court summons July 22ndfor the University of North Alabama involving alleged employee discrimination.

Plaintiff Audrey Mitchell, Director of Environmental Services and Housing Facilities Management initiated the summons and has filed as a Pro Se. In the case, Mitchell's claims include race-based employment discrimination and harassment as well as violation of due process, abuse of power, mental anguish, slander, and retaliation. Mitchell began reporting claims of harassment and discrimination in 2010. Mitchell has since reported various incidents to several University reporting agents including the Ombudsman, three different Presidents, Vice President and the head of Human Resources. This is a real modern day David and Goliath!

On September 8th, Mitchell updated the lawsuit stating that Catherine White, Assistant VP of Human Resources sent her an email stating she was to attend a meeting where three of the attendees are named in her lawsuit including Catherine White. The other two are Kevin Jacques, Director of University Residences and David Shields, VP of Student Affairs. Mitchell stated she was not comfortable attending the meeting blindly given the circumstances but she was told she would not know the agenda of the meeting and her attendance was not optional.

During the meeting, Audrey was informed the University hired a mediator Mike Quinn because "It is no secret that there is an ongoing conflict between Kevin Jacques, Director of University Residences and Audrey Mitchell. This conflict has caused the university and students to suffer and they deserve better. White went on to say "if Jacques and Mitchell could not find a way to collaborate and work together the university would have to move on without them". The concern that led to hiring a mediator was it was reported by Jacques that Mitchell did not work with him on Move In Day and would not work with him to solve an issue concerning removing a hold on a student. However, Mitchell was not asked about any of these claims by Jacques nor was an investigation done to see if these allegations were valid. Mitchell was not informed of these allegations until Mike Quinn, the mediator, told her during their meeting. Mitchell explained both charges and showed that these allegations were false. However, she asked why nothing is done when she files complaints and actually provides years’ worth of irrefutable evidence. Mike Quinn is also a retire attorney who specialized in prosecuting employment discrimination cases.

University submitted a motion on Sept. 22nd to strike this additional complaint as well as the initial complaint. The Judge immediately denied the motion Sept. 23rd.

On October 21, 2016, Mitchell received a memo from Catherine White stating that based on Mr. Mike Quinn’s recommendation the University has decided to proceed with re-organizing the reporting structure of Mitchell and Jacques departments so that we report to a common position. The memo went on to say that “although you will directly report to this position, you will continue to indirectly report to your respective Vice Presidents. Mitchell was moved in January 2015 from Mr. David Shields’ supervision due to complaints filed and the University receiving a charge notification from the EEOC.

However, on January 19, 2017, Mitchell was summoned to another meeting where Catherine White announced that she would be moved back under Shields’ supervision and forced to work with Kevin Jacques effective February 1, 2017.

The University has since motioned the Court to dismiss Mitchell's Complaint claiming immunity due to the Eleventh Amendment. Mitchell has submitted a response to motion on January 31, 2017 including over 30 exhibits which include several audio recordings of key Administration supporting her claims. The Court is still reviewing the motions.

Since 2013, there have been three other employment discrimination lawsuits filed against the University of North Alabama. Kathy Adler filed a lawsuit December 9, 2013, Fei Xu filed a lawsuit December 5, 2014 and Isaac Jones Jr. filed a lawsuit September 29, 2015. Each of these lawsuits were filed in the Northern District of Alabama U.S. District Court.


We're happy to make a correction to our previously published information concerning J.J. Common; he and his current squeeze do not have child together. The young lady in question is expecting their first child at this time. Common remains incarcerated in the Franklin County Jail on charges including attempted murder.

Apparently the young lady didn't appreciate our comments that she should take this respite from J.J. and use it to strive for a better life. To each her own. We will ask her how many children J.J. has already...and how many of their mothers he remains in contact with.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Nathan Bougher: Guilty or Not?

From the office of Billy Underwood:

"After this hearing, I am more assured than ever that Nathan Bougher did not harm his infant son. Statistics show there is abuse by the partners in a family setting that lends itself to child abuse. As we see from the evidence, there was never any abuse by Nathan upon his wife. He is an extremely docile young man who has never been charged with a crime in his life with the exception of these current charges.

I have no doubt that my medical experts will show the baby had either infantile rickets, osteogenesis imperfecta, or idiopathic bone disease.

There isn’t a mother or father alive, if they took care of their child properly, who hasn’t applied diaper rash ointment or other creams to their children’s bottom by hand. The State of Alabama is reaching in their charge that Nathan’s application of a medicine was grounds for them to charge him criminally.

Last but not least, I have a medical expert who will explain the tear to the frenulum of the baby’s tongue. There is absolutely no way a frenulum can be torn the way the State is alleging (State alleges Nathan force fed the child and that tore the baby's frenulum). It is extremely important to note that the infant child's mother testified today that she too force fed the baby. The baby had to have surgery on his tongue to repair the torn frenulum. This was simply two young parents, with a baby who would not eat, trying to do the best they could in regards to making sure he received the nourishment he needs. Neither parent is guilty of child abuse.

I believe after a jury hears expert medical testimony for Nathan it will find him not guilty."


Someone should tell Robert Palmer at the TD the difference between premier and premiere.

Friday, February 24, 2017

A Parent’s Experience with the Lauderdale County Board of Education

From a reader:

Last month my child did something that should not have done during an after-school athletic activity for which disciplined was needed.  According to the Lauderdale County School System PARENT/STUDENT HANDBOOK 2016-2017 the punishment should have been ‘suspended up to 10 days, but not less than 3 days, pending Disciplinary hearing for the 1st offense.’  At the hearing, the discipline given was 30 school days placement in alternative school.  Because this was not in the handbook I went to the school the following morning and asked the principal what written policy was followed in the disciplinary action given.  He stated that he had followed the handbook.  I questioned this since the discipline given is not in the handbook.  He then proceeded to deny three statements that I knew he had made.  
He also seemed strangely interested in denying a statement he made regarding my child’s current athletic status.  Because he was so acutely interested in this and because he was denying statements he made previously, I began to doubt his trustworthiness and asked that he put his current conflicting position of my child’s athletic status in writing.  He agreed to do so.  I also asked that he provide the written policy for the 30 day alternative school placement discipline.  In addition I asked that he provide the written roles and responsibilities of the school personnel in charge of providing supervision to my child at the time of the incident.  He agreed to provide this to me by the following day.  He ended the meeting by stating that these things are decided on a ‘case by case’ basis and this is what ‘we always do.’  The following day he left me a message that the requested information is available for me at the Lauderdale County Board of Education.  I arrived shortly after to pick up the information.  The information provided was a copy of the handbook policy which I already had.  This policy states that the student will be ‘suspended up to 10 days, but not less than 3 days, pending Disciplinary hearing for the 1st offense.’  Also provided was a copy of the handbook’s complaint procedure and a written statement that if I have any questions I should follow the handbook’s complaint procedure.
Since none of these items were the requested documentation I had requested I asked the receptionist how to file an appeal for a disciplinary hearing.  Later, an assistant superintendent spoke with me and soon after a second assistant superintendent joined us.  The result of that discussion was that both men agreed with me that they had not followed the handbook policy; however, they stated they are not required to do so.  They stated that they have more authority than the legal system.  I asked where this is written.  They denied that it was.  They stated that the only written policy is the handbook.  I asked how they can give discipline with no written policy and they stated they do not know; it is just what they always do.  If I wanted to know more I would have to ask the superintendent, but to do so I would have to follow the handbook’s written complaint procedure explicitly.  I agreed to do this.  The first step in the complaint procedure is to speak with the principal. I had already done this and he failed to provide what I asked for.  The second step was to put my request in writing to the principal and he would have to respond with a written disposition within five working days.  I faxed two written requests to the principal.  My first request was that since I was told by the assistant superintendents that they did not follow any written policy or procedure and they did not follow the handbook then could the alternative school placement sentence be reduced (Since the process would take longer than 3-10 days there was no use in asking that they follow their policy).  My second written complaint was that a school employee failed to adequately supervise my child at the time of the infraction.  
Meanwhile I received a written letter via US mail from the superintendent that my child would serve 30 days in alternative school.  The letter had a typo which disclosed another student’s name.  This gave me additional reasons to doubt the reliability of the Lauderdale County Board of Education.  Five business days later I received a faxed response from the principal that no one failed to supervise my child and that the sentence would not be reduced.  Once I had received this I was able to move forward with the third step of the complaint procedure which was to send the written requests to the superintendent.  He then had five days to respond.  Per their complaint procedure he was required to contact me to try to resolve the issue or meet with me and then follow up with a written disposition within five business days.  On the fourth business day his attorney called my husband and left a message that he wanted to speak with my husband about a complaint letter I had written.  This was very confusing to me.  Although I am a female, I am certainly able to handle my own affairs without going through my husband.  This caused me even greater concern about the trustworthiness of this agency.  I contacted this attorney to ask why he called my husband regarding a letter I wrote.  The attorney stated that he was handling the situation at the request of the Lauderdale County Board of Education since I previously notified that I had an attorney representing my child (I had not).  I asked him to provide the documentation of this notification and he did not respond.  
On the fifth business day two individuals traveled to my house and left a letter on my front porch.  This letter, written by the superintendent, was an agreement to speak with me regarding the third step of the complaint procedure and permission for me to call his secretary to make an appointment.  This gave me even greater pause regarding the efficiency of a tax funded agency that would pay two individuals to take an hour to drive to and from my house to hand deliver a letter.  As instructed in the letter I called and scheduled an appointment with the superintendent for the following week.   When I presented at the meeting I asked the superintendent why his attorney contacted my husband about a letter I wrote.  I asked if this is standard operating procedure.  He stated that ‘there is no standard.’  He also stated that he can contact any parent he likes in a joint custody situation.  I showed him the complaint procedure in the Lauderdale County School System PARENT/STUDENT HANDBOOK 2016-2017 which states that he is required to respond to the complainant at the third step of the process.  The fourth step allows him to have a representative act on his behalf, not the third step.  He stated that his only response is that he is ‘new and learning.’  We discussed the two letters I had written.  He stated that he is unsure why the 30 day placement in alternative school was given.  He stated that he would need to research and speak with his attorney.  His response to my letter about inadequate supervision was that there was no inadequate supervision as students do things sometimes that they shouldn’t do and we don’t know why.  I asked him for his word that my children would not suffer retaliation because I asked questions and he adamantly agreed that he would make sure this did not happen.  He stated that parents are encouraged to ask questions.  He stated he would call me no later than two days in the future with his response to my question about the 30 day alternative school placement sentence.
Meanwhile I followed up my understanding of the meeting in writing and faxed it to his office.  Two days later the superintendent called me and asked if I could come to his office to meet with him.  I agreed to do so.  At the meeting he stated that he would not change the 30 day alternative school placement.  I asked why and by what policy.  He stated that his answer would be that he would refuse to answer.  I asked why and he said on the advice of his attorney he is not answering this question.  He then spoke of some additional rules about the alternative school that I had not heard before.  I asked him to show me this in writing.  He denied that he would do this.  He stated he would not discuss policy with me.  I asked why again and he stated this is on the advice of his attorney.  I stated: “So, you arbitrarily make this up as you go?”  He stated that he would refuse to answer that question.  I indicated that this process had been very interesting and left. Meanwhile I received a letter by mail that the disposition of our meeting was that my child’s alternative placement would not be reduced.  I did not receive a disposition regarding my complaint that a school employee failed to supervise my child.  I followed up our meeting with a written statement of my understanding of what had taken place at the meeting.  I asked that he put his disposition in writing and to include that his final response was a refusal to respond.  I also asked that he include his disposition that his investigation revealed no employee failed to supervise my child.  I reminded him in this letter that his agency had solicited funds for the alternative school program and in the application for state funds the board certified that the program meets certain guidelines.  
Based on these standards and because he refused to provide me with the alternative school program policies I asked that he provide me with my child’s progress towards behavior modification goals as well as academic and behavioral progress towards these goals.  I informed that I had called three separate state agencies and discussed my difficulties of obtaining information and all three agencies had advised that I request that the superintendent put his disposition in writing.  I requested that the superintendent provide this information by a specific date.  On that date I called the superintendent and asked him if the documentation was ready for me to pick up.  He stated that he had placed a letter in the mail to me the day before and that another letter is being drafted today and would be put into the mail that afternoon.  I asked if I could come by to get a copy of the letter he mailed the prior day.  He stated: “That’s not what I said.”  I asked if he was refusing to give me a copy of the letter and he stated: “That’s not what I said.”  We continued this strange conversation in which he denied stating that I could come pick it up and denied stating that I couldn’t come pick it up several times.  I finally stated that I would be by to get the copy shortly.  He hung up on me.  I traveled to the Lauderdale County Board of Education.  I presented and asked for a copy of the letter the superintendent mailed to me.  His secretary provided it to me.  I also asked for my child’s alternative school program evaluation.  While she was asking the superintendent for this information I reviewed the letter.  The letter stated that there was an employee in charge of supervision on the date of the incident.  I was confused because my written complaint had been that an employee had not provided adequate supervision.  This disposition did not address my complaint but simply stated that there was an employee present.  When the secretary returned with a packet of information for me I gave her the letter and informed her that it was not a sufficient disposition as it does not address the complaint.  While she was speaking to the superintendent about this I reviewed the packet of information provided.  
There was not an evaluation of my child’s progress in the alternative school program.  There was a copy of a page from the Lauderdale County School System PARENT/STUDENT HANDBOOK 2016-2017 stating that an alternative school program exists.  There was also a copy of the Alternative School Contract Agreement the instructor reviewed with us at the first day of my child’s placement in alternative school.  Interestingly one of the required guidelines of the program is parent participation (which made me laugh).  I already had both of these items and neither of them were the requested evaluation of my child’s progress in the program.  When the secretary returned she stated that the superintendent will not add to the disposition letter.  I informed her that the packet does not contain the information I requested either.  She left to speak with the superintendent again.  When she returned she stated that the superintendent will not speak to me without his attorney present.  I denied that I have or need an attorney.  She stated, “Well, we do.”  I denied that I needed to meet with the superintendent and am simply asking for the documentation that I had previously requested in writing.  She again stated that the superintendent would not see me without his attorney.  I stated that maybe he did not understand what I need and it might be helpful if I could clarify what I am asking for.  She stated again that he would not meet with me without his attorney.  I asked her if he is refusing to see me.  She stated: “That’s not what I said.”  So I asked, “So he will meet with me?”  She stated: “That’s not what I said.”  We had several more rounds of this strange conversation in which she denied that he would meet with me and then denied that he would not meet with me.  Finally, I thanked her that he would not refuse to see me and began to walk toward the superintendent’s office.  The secretary opened his office door and the superintendent was sitting behind his desk speaking with a gentleman beside his desk.  He stood up and approached us.  I stated that the secretary told me that he was not refusing to meet with me.  I thanked him for this and stated that I needed some documents that I previously requested.  He stated that he would not meet with me without his attorney present.  I asked when that would be and he did not know.  I stated that I do not need to meet with him or his attorney, I simply need some documentation.  He stated that he provided me with the requested items.  
I denied this.  I agreed that he did provide me with items just not the requested items.  He again stated that he would not speak with me without his attorney.  I stated that I had been told that if I followed the complaint procedure exactly then I would be able to ask and receive answers from him.  I asked him who is in charge of this agency; the superintendent or the attorney.  He stated that he would not speak with me without his attorney present.  I stated that this was not acceptable to me as I do not need an attorney and am simply requesting documentation that his policy states he is required to provide.  He stated that he would call me by noon today with an appointment time to meet.  I asked when this appointment would be and he stated no later than the following day.  I agreed to accept this and left.  At 11:55 a.m. I received a phone call from the superintendent.  Once he identified himself he read this statement and hung up on me: “I have met with you on more than one occasion about your child’s alternative school placement.  I will not change the 30 day placement.  This matter is considered resolved.  I will not meet with you again.”  I followed this up with a written letter stating that I am disappointed in the honesty, transparency, and integrity of his administration.  
So why am I writing this?  I wish I could say that since I did my best to request answers and followed the Lauderdale County School System PARENT/STUDENT HANDBOOK explicitly, it is now well with my soul. But it’s not.  The more questions I asked the more evidence I uncovered that the Lauderdale County School superintendent is suffering from a lack of transparency.  It is not ok for an elected official to treat parents with questions this way.  It is not ok for elected officials to state that parents have to follow a policy but they do not.  It is not ok to arbitrarily mete out discipline without written policy.  Do they only give 30 days in alternative school to females?    Athletes?  Non-athletes?   People of certain skin color?  Those of certain religious beliefs?  It is not ok to state that the answer is a refusal to answer.  It is not ok to state that an employee was present when the complaint is that a school employee failed to supervise my child.  It is not ok to state you will meet with a parent (in front of witnesses) and then refuse to do so.  Additionally, what exactly is happening in the alternative school program that needs to be hidden?  Why would parents be denied updates or evaluations of their child’s progress?    Is the school system even entitled to tax revenue to fund this program?  
As for the superintendent’s adamant promise that my child would not be retaliated against…remember the letter with the typo that disclosed another student’s discipline?  Because of that disclosure I know the punishment given to that student.  That student has been allowed to participate in and attend local school activities during the alternative school placement which is expressly forbidden in the Lauderdale County School System PARENT/STUDENT HANDBOOK.  My child has not been allowed to do so.  Interesting, isn’t it?  
What have I learned that parents need to know?  Each year parents and students are required to sign a Handbook Acknowledgement Form.  The Lauderdale County Schools PARENT\STUDENT HANDBOOK ACKNOWLEDGEMENT form currently states that parents and students “agree to adhere and follow” the handbook and local school policies.  The form is NOT a contractual agreement.  The Board of Education does not agree to follow the handbook.  It is a one-sided agreement.  If students do not return this signed form they are coerced to do so by school employees until the form is returned.  I will not be signing this form in the future and neither will my children.  Neither should you.  The law only requires that students, parents, guardians, or custodians “read the plan and sign a statement verifying that they have been given notice of the discipline policies” (Act 94-784(e)(1)).   
Of course I really wish my child had not done something that should not have been done.  My child needed to be disciplined.  My only request was that the discipline be in accordance to the handbook.  My mantra in this situation has been and continues to be: “Nevertheless, she persisted” (Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell).  I will continue to persist.  Because in the words of Edmund Burke, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men (or women!) to do nothing.”  When elected officials are behaving in deceitful ways they need to no longer be our elected officials.  


Nevertheless, she persisted! While we're no fan of Elizabeth Warren, we do love that mantra!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

UNA: CPA Classes & Division 1 -- A Must Read!

This is from an anonymous UNA employee:

College of Business is offering CPA classes to people who need more classes in order to take the CPA exam. UNA is working with a company called Wiley to do this. Look it up on their website.

Here is the problem. The courses only cost $475 when a regular 3 hr course at UNA costs over $700 if you are an instate student and $1,500 if you are an out of state student. I hear many of these CPA students are from foreign countries so we are REALLY losing money. Look up other campuses (i.e. Northwestern) and you will see that CPA prep courses go for about $1,800.

Out of that $475, I hear that UNA only receives about $100 which does not cover the institution's costs. Dean Gregg Carnes gets a cut along with the COB and UNA's accounting professors. I hear that Wiley gets $150. Looks like the COB wants to 'get a taste' of everything.

Anyway, I hear that former VP for Business Clinton Carter had serious issues with Carnes and COB making money on the deal while UNA suffers. He wanted Kitts to request a review from the State Ethics Commission. Clinton got fired by Kitts. Luckily, he fell into the State Budget Director position. I have heard that others have lost their jobs for merely asking questions about the legitimacy of these courses.

I heard that some UNA Board members called Clinton down in Montgomery because they just thought he left UNA to work for the Governor and that he didn't get fired. They asked him for more money for UNA. I don't think Clinton would give them any money unless the CPA issue was addressed. It would not surprise me if the Board goes above Kitts head to request a finding from the Ethics Commission.

You can look at Carnes' Conflict of Interest Statement he (and everyone making more than $50K/year) has to complete each year to verify what I am saying. He is one of the highest paid administrators (I think $225,000), yet he wants to rob more money that is supposed to go for UNA.

Check it out for yourself. This is only the tip of a very dangerous iceberg.

Oh...and by the way...Linder and Kitts have more sinister plans for D1. The Ohio Valley Conference would not consider any D2 schools. That is why UNA was not invited by OV. However, now that UNA is now a D1 School at a much smaller, less prestigious conference, don't be surprised if they don't somehow spin the need to move to the Ohio Valley soon...then we will be spending lots of dollars on stadiums and coliseums when we should cut tuition and spend our revenue on UNA's students. You said it right...Kitts is a snake in the grass and, at this time of year, we should burn our grass to kill the varmints and disease that lurks within.


There you have it, folks. We welcome rebuttals or additional comments.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Midnight Rider on Katie Logan

Katie Logan makes a good First impression
By:  The Midnight Rider
  I would like to start out this article by saying; we have never met Katie Logan.  We know who she is via Facebook and her Husband, Tuscumbia Police Chief Tony Logan.  With that being said, we did support her here on this website during Election Time.  It appears that our support was well founded.  
From the Times Daily Newspaper:
TUSCUMBIA -- City Councilwoman Katie Logan used Monday's council meeting as an opportunity to issue a 30-day challenge that she hopes will launch a permanent movement.
The District 1 councilwoman announced the Tuscumbia 30 challenge, which asks residents to spend their tax dollars exclusively in Tuscumbia businesses for 30 days, beginning March 1.
"This is a push to challenge your neighbors, challenge your community, to spend in Tuscumbia," Logan said. "It's a low-cost way to get our citizens to invest in Tuscumbia."
She said shopping only in Tuscumbia is a realistic goal, and backed that comment by listing numerous examples of merchandise, ranging from grocery to retail to vehicles, that are available from businesses in the city.
"You'll find we have everything you need," Logan said.
She said the Tuscumbia 30 effort will have a strong social media presence throughout March to push word of mouth. Fliers also will be abundant throughout town.
Tuscumbia 30 also will sponsor businesses by posting information about them on social media throughout the month, Logan said.
"It may be a business you didn't know about," she said. "This campaign will involve a big social media push."
The project has a long-term goal of bringing residents into the habit of continuing to looking within the city first for purchases after the 30-day period, Logan said.
The idea brought accolades from the crowd at the meeting, as well as from Logan's fellow council members.
"One thing I like about it, from a business owner's perspective, is this is no cost to the business at all," Councilman William Foster said.
Mayor Kerry Underwood encouraged residents and merchants to keep the effort alive over social media so it stays on the public's minds. He said the council supports its retail base throughout the city and Logan's idea is evidence of that.
"We believe Tuscumbia 30 is a good start," Underwood said. "I'm happy she thought about it and we need to keep it going."
  Mrs. Logan has come up with a simple plan to help bring tax dollars into the City of Tuscumbia.  It is a simplistic approach to an old problem.  Will it work?  Who knows?  However, this young lady has had the “intestinal fortitude” to stand up and issue this Challenge.  She has only been in Office for a short period of time and she has already made the newspaper with a news worthy item.  
  Tuscumbia is a small town and it needs all the tax dollars in can generate.  Having a Challenge to spend your tax dollars there during a 30 day period is a good way for the City to determine how much actual money can and could be brought into the City.  I have heard several people say that “all of downtown Tuscumbia is nothing but Antiques and Clothing Stores.”  That may be.  However, it is going to take things such as this 30 Day Challenge for Business Owners to realize the value of being in Tuscumbia.  

  Many of the local Cities don’t realize the potential of people that live there, if these people spent their money in another town.  People who go to other Cities to have dinner for example, that is tax money leaving the original city.  While we don’t live in the City Limits but in the County, we usually have to go to the different Cities to get items.  
   We would like to say that we are impressed with Katie Logan so far in her Term as Council Lady for the City of Tuscumbia.  Keep up the good work.  
P.S.  We heard that there is a business in Sheffield that will be relocating to Tuscumbia.   That will be a big loss for Sheffield and a Feather in the Cap of Tuscumbia.  More on that as it becomes available.  

I am and always will be, the Midnight Rider.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Why is Rogers Kimbrell Lying?

Rogers Kimbrell of Florence has now become a well know shill for the University of North Alabama. Most recently he's been touting the "advantages" of the University of North Alabama taking over property belonging to Florence City Schools.

Obviously, many of the "facts" being bandied about by individuals are nothing but opinion. Everyone is entitled to his/her opinion on any subject, and we support them in their right to espouse it. What we do not support is a person offering lies as facts.

A recent letter to the TimesDaily from Kimbrell enumerated several "facts" on the contentious issue. We're going to address only one of them -- the one that we know is an outright lie. Kimbrell wrote:

The high school band director was told by the school board they were going to build a new bandroom. It hasn’t been built. Instead, they built a 273-space parking lot behind the high school that only 24 to 36 students use daily.

We have no information concerning the band room, but we certainly do relative to the parking lot. We invite any of our readers to drive by the campus during school hours. Look at nearby businesses; how many have been forced to restrict student parking in front of their establishments? Several business owners purchased their own yellow paint to mark curbing so that students wouldn't obstruct access to their storefronts before the parking lot was built.

So why is Rogers Kimbrell lying about this? We don't know. Again, his veracity in this is easy to check out. Are some of his other "facts" just as dubious?

Want more information? New Florence High Parking Lot

Monday, February 20, 2017

Can State Take Over UNA's Board of Trustees?

Libby Jordan

Mr. Sam Pendleton, longtime former Florence City Council member and civic leader, has suggested Gov. Robert Bentley take over the UNA board. Can it?

The state has previsously taken over various school systems. It's entirely possible that Gov. Bentley could at least sack the current board (with exception of Libby Jordan we would hope) and start anew. It' something to think about.


No, UNA doesn't have to answer to us...or to you. Yet your tax dollars support that institution. It hasn't been that long ago that the City of Florence (read taxpayers) gave...yes, gave...UNA three million dollars for its science building. Now UNA wishes to steal the middle school property from the city and the school. Some thanks, huh? Let's hope our council remembers this.


Now a big salute to Mr. Sam Pendleton. He's taking care of the city's interests and promoting West Florence. He's a jewel and he's missed on the council.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Coffee Property Not Zoned for Apartments/Rayo Mart Wine?

We sincerely doubt the not quite six million offer for the old Coffee property from Florence developer Eugene Sak was supposed to be taken seriously. UNA's offer was approximately six times Sak's and didn't include the new gym. Yet we've been told the property is not zoned for apartments and isn't likely to be. What were his intentions? What were Britton Watson's intentions, albeit choosing to help figureatively steal from the school board on which she serves?


The tres elegant Rayo Mart in Colbert County wants to sell beer and wine. The Second Street store is challenging the county commission's vote not to give the eastern Colbert store a license to sell such products. 

Just think of the possibilities. We're sincerely hoping one of the local breweries Rob Carnegie touts will begin producing "Old Muskrat" just for Colbert County. If not beer, then wine. Wouldn't that make for a romantic evening?


To return to the ever-popular UNA issue, can the governor take over UNA's board? Stay tuned...

Saturday, February 18, 2017

John Pilati Back on Sex Offender Registry

We have a new marshal in town, or should we say Marshall? From Alabama Attorney General Steven T. Marshall:

Alabama Attorney General Steven T. Marshall is pleased with the State Pardons and Paroles Board decision to reverse 2012 and 2015 pardons for convicted former Franklin County District Attorney John Frederick Pilati and require he be placed back on the sex offender registry.

“John Pilati violated a solemn oath to protect and defend the people when he violated the civil rights through sexual contact with five different young men while he was district attorney,” said Attorney General Steven T. Marshall.

Pilati was convicted in federal court and sentenced in 2008 to 42 months in prison for five civil rights offenses related to sexual assaults on young men who ranged in age from 16 to 20.

“While Pilati served his sentence and was released in 2011, the nature of his crime against his victims and the violation of his oath of office demand that he should not be granted a pardon,” Attorney General Marshall added.

During Pilati’s pardon hearing today, Chief Deputy Alice Martin, who prosecuted the case against Pilati, was successful in voiding the earlier pardons.

“I am pleased that the Board of Pardons and Paroles followed our recommendation to deny his pardons,” Attorney General Marshall observed.


When Pilati was taken off the sex offender registry last year, we attempted to get a coherent answer from the Board of Pardons and Paroles--to no avail. We questioned how a state board could make such a decision on a federal crime. Apparently a great many questioned this decision. The law does work...sometimes.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Dr. Kenneth Kitts Proves He's a Real Bastard

Heil Kittsy!

Dr. Kenneth Kitts has shown his true colors--pardon the hackneyed analogy, but our degree is from UNA,obviously an inferior institution. Let's throw in snake in the grass while we're at it. While professing he's open to dialog with the city and the school board, he's gone behind everyone's back to attempt to gain an eminent domain status of the school/city's property.

How does that work, Kittsy? How do you convince citizens the university, such as it is, is more important than the city and its school system. Wait, don't bother to answer; we already know you couldn't tell the truth if Leo and Una's lives depended on it. A tree fell on your home the other night? Ever think God was trying to tell you something?

And Marty Abroms?!!! We're sickened by your part in this. We thought you were a better person than this. Libby Jordan has been the only one to come out of this thinking and acting like an intelligent adult.

Rest assured, Kittsy, you've made enemies in Florence. When you place your pointed little head on your pillow tonight, think about that.


While we're on a roll, what's the status of Inspiration Landing in Sheffield? No construction started yet...on anything? Remember, that snake oil Vandy second stringer has promised something finished by the third week in June 2018. The clock is ticking.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Apartments on Old Coffee Property?

Florence developer Eugene Sak currently owns 19 incorporated businesses in Florence. Several are connected to property/construction endeavors. At the most recent Florence School Board meeting, assisted by board member Britton Watson, Sak offered 6.5 million for the property. Was he just whistling Dixie?

As far as we know, the multi-acreage property isn't zoned for apartments...and most likely wouldn't be...ever. So why does Britton Watson now favor Sak's suit? That we don't know. Watson, presumably a New York native, owns, along with her husband, Blue Olive Advertising. We're not aware of a connection between the agency and any of Sak's companies, but that's not to say there isn't one. We appreciate all comments (just keep them clean).


For those who are concerned or have simply inquired:

1. The Waterloo Road property long rejected by UNA is immediately adjacent to the campus.

2. There are no homes or businesses located there.

3. The property between the campus and Wildwood Park measures one to two miles in length and is of similar width, all undeveloped.

4. Many members of the West Florence community have been begging UNA for years to purchase and develop this tract of land.

5. Florence says it wants to move west; why doesn't UNA?


Earlier today, Pen-N-Sword announced they had installed a new firewall. If any of our readers (and you know who you are, JB) continue to have problems accessing the site, please let PNS know.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Midnight Rider/Shoals Tatler

Keller Hospital: Layoffs
By: The Midnight Rider
Helen Keller Hospital

If you read Shoalanda Speaks regularly, you know that we have written several articles which show Keller Hospital in a not so good light. Below is from WHNT 19 News that recently came out:
SHEFFIELD, Ala. – Two hospitals in the Shoals are cutting employees due to operational costs. Helen Keller Hospital and Red Bay Hospital say they have had to either reduce scheduled hours or eliminate positions at the two facilities, affecting a total of 22 staff members.
“Although we hear and read about the issues of healthcare in Washington and Montgomery, unfortunately, the greatest impact of these issues is always local,” the hospitals said in a statement. “The economic challenge of rising costs and uncertain reimbursement cannot be ignored, so we are taking steps necessary to ensure that patient care remains our priority. We are working with our staff to help them in this transition and we do not expect any further staffing action to be taken. None of these changes will diminish our ability to provide quality care.”
Ok, with that being said, you should know that this article was forthcoming. As I have stated before, with the new Hospital being built, now is not the time for Keller Hospital to be burning bridges. I don’t see how Keller can continue to have quality service when they are cutting personnel.
So what about these people that lost their job? They must now scramble to find employment without suffering from the layoff. A Source from Keller Hospital told us that the positions that were cut were full time positions. They will now be turned into Part Time Positions with cut or no benefits. That is really sad.
Be careful Keller. When that new Hospital is built, they may put you out of business.
I am and always will be, the Midnight Rider.


Last night's Florence School Board meeting is over and little has changed. We will correct one point from our special blog: While UNA says 70 parking spaces will be lost due to new construction, the board says parking spaces will actually be gained.
Britton Watson? She gave local builder Eugene Sak the floor to make an offer on the property. So much for her wanting merely to be fair with the university. We'll have more on this later.
Marty Abrom's fear of the space between the stadium and school having the appearance of an alley? While we have no idea how it will look, if it does resemble an alley when built, why not capitalize on it? How about "Victory Alley?" It certainly sounds better than Back Alley Bar or Greasy Hands Barbershop.
We recently mentioned Tommy Wallis who's serving a life term as a habitual offender from Lauderdale County. A reader asked us about an article on Tommy's wife that recently appeared in the Shoals Tatler. Apologies that we were behind in our reading; sad that Tommy's children are a part of this situation.