Wednesday, February 28, 2018

They Arrest in Red Bay, but Suspend in Sheffield?

During the past week, there have been gun threats at two local schools - Red Bay Middle School and Sheffield High School. The young male in Red Bay, remember a "junior high" student, was arrested and taken to the Tennessee Valley Juvenile Detention Center. The male in Sheffield who was a high school student was simply suspended for one day.

Certainly the threat from the Red Bay student could have been more credible, but if we were a Sheffield parent, we would want to know why administrators told students not to tell their parents about the incident. 

We would also like to know, if the incident in Sheffield occurred at 9:30, why the junior high faculty and students weren't informed until around noon. Were they just supposed to look out their windows and guess why police officers were at the high school next door?


News coverage? You may have noticed that the TimeDaily hasn't covered either of these school stories. The Franklin Free Press, Red Bay News, and Pen-N-Sword all covered the Red Bay incident. Only PNS covered the Sheffield story. Perhaps the TD doesn't think threatened school shootings are newsworthy?



So after five years of employment, Dwayne Oliver will finally be attending a course on how to recognize animal abuse. Well, it's at least a start.

We often see it stated that Alabama's county commissions are simply glorified "road commissions." Indeed, that's what these bodies were called for years. Yet today these commissions oversee many aspects of county laws - don't forget that! If a county law is passe' or isn't working for whatever reason, it can be changed. 

Let's not let up in our attempts to bring the Lauderdale County Commission into the 20th century...AND NO THAT WASN'T A TYPO. Perhaps in a decade or so we can bring them up to 2001!

Voters are already planning to bring these men down during the next two election cycles. Perhaps the commissioners had better start thinking long and hard about how they can redeem themselves?

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

New Alabama Electricity Study

We recently published an electricity study that indicated Alabama had the second highest (as in actual dollars) bills of any of the 50 states. A new study confirms that. The study we published also indicated that our state had the third highest actual usage of electricity. This new study states that it's second highest. It just gets worse.

Part of the problem seems to be the stifling and humid summers we suffer through, er, enjoy. There's not much we can do about that in itself. And it won't be long until that season is here again. We may not be able to control the temps outside, but we can control the way we deal with them:

1. Purchase room-darkening window shades or blinds.

2. Use an air cooler to supplement air conditioning in rooms you use most often. These are not as effective here as in less humid climes, but they do assist in keeping things cool without using that dreaded compressor. 

3. Place longer chains on ceiling fans to make them more accessible to the whole family...and use them. (Lowe's or Walmart)

4. If you're working inside and suddenly feel the need to lower your thermostat, splash some astringent or skin toner on your neck and arms. It doesn't take much and is cheaper than extra electricity.

5. Purchase GE brand CFL bulbs. While the Walmart or similar cheaper brands may save electricity as long as they work, they don't work very long.

6. Use motion censors for outdoor lights if you're worried about prowlers. Even small wattage bulbs can raise a bill by 4.00 a month if they're left on every night.

If you have more money saving tips, send them to us.


98 days and counting until the June primary. Start your research now. Don't rule out candidates just because of the "D" after their name. As of now, Kay Ivey and Walt Maddox look like winners, but we're not endorsing yet...

Monday, February 26, 2018

Poodles v. the School Cop - No Winners

Let's make this very clear - Jessica LaShae Dye is no angel. A quick Google search indicates that the woman called "Poodles" has at least 15 custodial arrests between 2013 and now, an average of three a year. Some of these arrests were for drugs, while others were for failing to appear in local municipal courts. We do not sympathize with Poodles in the least for these arrests. 

Let's also make clear that we support police officers whether they be state, county, city, or campus. That doesn't mean these officers are perfect, but they do face possible danger almost every day they report for work. Do you? Would you be willing to for the pay these officers receive? No, we thought not.

That brings us to the night of the traffic stop at which Poodles was shot six times. Of perhaps she was technically shot only five times since a bullet may have traveled through her arm into her lung. Either way, Poodles was shot quite a few times at fairly close range to have survived. Bad on her for her choices, but good on her for having the will to live!

Often important details are left out of crime reports, so we're not sure what actually happened the night of the fateful traffic stop. Perhaps the grand jury was told, but the public is still quite uninformed. This is what we've been told:

1. A UNA police officer stopped Poodles for driving erratically (as well he should have) and had her pull over into a university parking lot.

2. The officer checked Poodles' vehicle registration number, discovered that she had active warrants, and then asked her to step out of the vehicle. Here is where we make our first assumption. We're assuming the officer is standing somewhat to the rear of Poodles on the driver's side of the vehicle. This would not be behind the vehicle, now would it?

3. Instead of exiting her car as requested, Poodles allegedly placed it in reverse and accelerated toward the officer. Now, a question: How/Why did the officer get behind Poodles' car?

4. The officer fired his gun at least five times, probably at least six, and maybe more since  the public has not been informed if any shots hit the vehicle, but missed Poodles. 

5. The officer approached Poodles again, this time to give her aid, but she placed her car in gear and drove forward, hitting the officer's car in the process, then driving seriously injured south on Pine Street until she crashed, ostensibly on her way to the hospital. 

Our only question here is noted in our No. 3 remark. How did the officer wind up behind Poodles' vehicle in the first place? If any readers have an insight into this, please contact us. As always, you'll remain anonymous.


Poodles Posing Pensively


We know that, according to Poodles' family, she has retained an attorney to represent her. Any civil suit that the attorney may file is separate from any criminal matter. In other words, Poodles could be found guilty of a criminal charge in this incident, but the officer could be found guilty in a civil case...or perhaps a federal civil rights case. We're very interested to see just what lawsuits are filed.


Poodles, if you're reading this, let us speak to you as a Dutch aunt. You're still very young. You've permanently closed some doors to opportunity already in your life, but many are still open. Please get some help. Please? We believe you can do it. Buckle down and show your detractors just what you're made of...

Sunday, February 25, 2018

What is WRONG with the Lauderdale County Commission?

Caution: The following blog contains strong language.

For years, a gentleman from Waterloo petitioned the Lauderdale County Commission to pave a county road where residents were injured and even killed. How many years did it take him to get action? We know of at least seven, perhaps more. That's years to correct a potentially fatal problem in the western end of the county.

Now residents from all over the county have requested that the commission follow state law and authorize their animal control officer Dwayne Oliver to confiscate neglected, injured, and dying animals from abusive owners. So far the commission has refused.

The commission seems to want to place the onus on Dwayne Oliver, calling him not worth training. So why did you hire the man? Either hire someone fit to do the job or place Oliver under Rick Singleton who can perhaps whip him into shape. One or the other, or you aren't doing your jobs!

Colbert County (yes, we say Colbert County!) has no problem with confiscating animals who are in danger. Who knew that Lauderdale was that inferior to Colbert?

Danny - Can you stand before a congregation and preach love on Sunday and then kick these unfortunate creatures to the curb on Monday?

Fay - Did your constituents know you didn't have any backbone when they elected you?

Joe - Has anyone told you that you're no more useful than a doorstop?

Roger - Tell us exactly when and where you lost your balls?

Brad - Do you enforce the law at work, but overlook it at commission meetings?

Brenda - Did you have to learn how to be a bitch, or were you simply born that way?


The Lauderdale County Commission meets at 5:00 p.m. tomorrow in the court house. They have denied time for any animal advocate to speak. Even if you can't speak, go! The commission needs to know how you feel about Lauderdale's animals...and about them, especially how you'll feel during the next elections.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Witts File Formal Complaints Against Deputy

The Witts have filed two complaints against Colbert County Sheriff's Deputy Jamie Klaska. Both Terry and Resa Witt spoke with Chief Deputy James A. Heffernan, Jamie Klaska's immediate superior, and lodged the two complaints based on state law. 

What happens now? Either Heffernan or Sheriff Frank Williamson will forward the complaints to the Colbert County district attorney's office which will then present the case to the grand jury. Aside: This is why important criminal cases take so long to be prosecuted.

So, no, Lt. Chief Deputy Jamie Klaska has not been arrested. We sincerely doubt that he will be indicted, but if he is we doubt that there would be a conviction in such a case. 

Resa Witt has also hinted at federal charges, even going so far as to mention prison time. We eagerly await her interview with a federal prosecutor on the matter...


Colbert County Court House


Perceptions! It's easy to jump to conclusions, isn't it? When we attempted to retrieve a photo of Jamie Klaska from his Facebook page, we found a photo of an animal skin rug being used as his cover icon:

Many men on Facebook post pics of dead bodies in various states, but seeing this rug didn't make us think more of the deputy. Then we continued to look for a photograph of Klaska himself. We didn't find one, but we did find this in a album:

Ah, yes, quite an attractive rug, isn't he (or she)? Our opinion of the deputy rose greatly!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Lost in the Weeds!

It’s been a little over a week since the school shooting occurred in Parkland, Florida. A tragic event in which a 19 year-old man killed 17 teachers and students. Every parent’s nightmare is to lose their child, and I can’t imagine what those families are going through. With that in mind, I want to be very careful in my message this week not to offend or divert from the seriousness of such a horrendous tragedy.

I think as “One Nation Under God” we are missing something and I’ve only heard hints of it in the media these last few days. With the invention of the 24 hour news cycle several years ago, came this need to be the first one in front of a story regardless of whether or not what was being put out into the world was the truth or not. Ratings are now more important than anything else including the truth or the victims involved. Within minutes of the shooting, the story quickly turned from a senseless act of violence to gun control. It felt like grieving for the families involved and the sudden end to so many lives snuffed out in an instant, became an afterthought. Condolences and prayers have been replaced by another podium for every politician and reporter to stand in front of. Riots and protests have replaced good deeds and helping hands.

Now before I go any further, I understand we probably need more gun control laws in the country. This is not an anti or pro gun rant. I also understand that I can’t speak for God as to why bad things happen to people. Personally I’ve been taught that in spite of whatever tragedy takes place, we must fight through all the emotions that come with it and know that there is a greater purpose to everything that happens. I also understand the dangers of judging others and the importance of looking at my own actions before condemning or criticizing those of another. With all that in mind I’m here to tell you that America may have a gun problem, but without a doubt we have a Satan problem!

We don’t teach peace anymore. Look at what we consider entertainment; listen to the music we put in our ears and images before our eyes. Guns may kill, but it’s our lack of faith and our culture of greed that most definitely pulls the trigger. Somebody does you wrong, get revenge. Something makes you feel good, drop all of your responsibilities and get more of it. We’re a nation of dads that sit inside watching porn instead of playing ball outside with their kids. A people full of mothers who leave their children in the parking lot of the club while they dance their cares away because they need a break. Everyday the majority of the people in this country wake up and tell each other what they don’t like, what they hate, what they are fed up with, and not once do they ever try to smile. People have been finding ways to murder one another long before guns were ever thought of and the idea that a few laws are going to stop that is insane.

The answer to gun violence, to drinking and driving, to drug addiction, to porn addition, to all of the thousand different ways we’ve come up with to hurt each other while making ourselves feel better for a few fleeting God! I promise you that if we would all walk into our homes each night, gather our families around us, and talk about the importance of helping others; we would create so much change. Instead of spending our days focusing on how much we hate everything around us, if we would wake up feeling blessed for receiving the simplest gift of another day on this earth; not only would we change our lives, but also the lives of those around us.

You don’t believe in religion? Fine! That’s not what this is about. I’m talking about spreading peace rather than teaching hate. It’s really that simple. I don’t have to know the history of the latest murderer who was able to get his face plastered all over the Internet at the expense of so many lives to know that somewhere at some point he was either abused, or beaten, or molested, or told he was worthless, or treated like dirt. Maybe not from the very moment he was born, but somewhere along the way the seeds of evil were planted in his heart. I don’t doubt somebody loved him once, tried to help him once , and is out there this very moment wondering what more they could have done. Satan is real and if you don’t believe that then at least wake up and understand that hate does nothing but breed more hate. God is the answer. Preaching and practicing peace is the solution. You want to keep your children off drugs? Teach them to love others as well as themselves. Want to stop your kid from turning into an alcoholic? Turn off the drinking songs and turn on something that inspires them to be better people.

I understand that nobody will ever live a sin free life. There was only one person who was ever perfect. As a country though, we need to understand that evil exists and the only way to stop it is by fighting it with love for one another and faith in God. Until we understand that as a people, tomorrow’s tragic headline might as well already be written.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Will Ainsworth Needs to Use His Brain...If He Has One

Will Ainsworth is running for Lt. Governor. That could mean he's currently expounding on how to move this state forward, or it could mean he's currently spouting meaningless words that he thinks sound good to an uneducated public. Unfortunately, Ainsworth has chosen the latter. 

Ainsworth has used the Florida school shooting to bring his name to the political forefront by supporting a bill to arm the state's school teachers. What's wrong with this? Plenty when you think about it.

One of the major points proponents of such a law make is the distance rural schools are from any law enforcement headquarters. Now stop and think. This also means most of these rural schools are small; some may have only a few teachers in comparison to their city counterparts. Most of these teachers are female; how many would actually want the responsibility of being trained to use a firearm? How many, male or female, would pass all the tests (hit the broad side of a barn)? How many, male or female, when confronted with actual violence the first time would freeze?

Now think about this: Large apartment buildings, nursing homes, assisted living facilities - what do they have in common? Anyone seeking entrance has to stand outside a secure door while an employee looks the visitor over via CCTV. It's not science fiction, it's been a reality for years. Why don't our schools use this technology? 

Doug Jones is advocating such technology, along with bullet proof windows for schools. These are permanent safeguards and cost less than training and arming teachers who may leave the state at any time for a better position. Yet Will Ainsworth is criticizing Sen. Jones' ideas in favor of more guns. 

Wait...there's more. Will Ainsworth also deflected and threw in a comment about Jones' Senate vote on an issue that didn't pertain to guns or school safety. Ah, Rep. Ainsworth, there's where you revealed your truly vile self

Is gaining a few votes from the hardcore right worth losing the votes of moderates and those who lean left? Just don't count on our vote come June.


French Teacher Sonny DePugh 

Which had you rather have at your child's school - French teacher Sonny DePugh armed with a handgun or electronic doors combined with bullet proof windows?


Are you keeping up with what our newest senator is doing? He's voting his own mind, not so-called Democratic values. Doug Jones is forming coalitions with Republicans who want to move this country forward. In short, he's doing what he promised to do, and all thinking Alabamians should be thankful. 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Bryan Robinson Throws His Associates Under the Bus

As part of Brian Robinson's house flip scheme, the tarnished financial guru had approximately 20 mortgages prepared on properties he didn't own. Then Robinson forwarded the mortgages to Caitlin Burns Holland and Brad Bolding unsigned. What was Robinson's excuse for not signing the mortgages and having them notarized at the law firm which allegedly drew them up? That we don't know, but it would have been easy to tell his associates that he would stop by their offices to sign the documents.

Except he didn't. Again, we don't know what excuse he gave, but he asked Holland and Bolding to duplicate his signature on the multiple documents. We're using the word "duplicate," but legal documents quoting victims are using the term "forge" since the signature was designed to look exactly like Robinson's. Then Robinson asked Caitlin Burns Holland, a Sheffield attorney and President of the Shoals Area Chamber of Commerce, to notarize the signatures and file the mortgages with the Madison County Probate Court, which she did.

The above events happened within an approximate nine-month period in 2015; at the end of this period, Holland supposedly discovered that Bryan Robinson didn't own the properties in Madison County. Her employment for Robinson ended at this point, for whatever reason. Around this time, Robinson's scheme was discovered by some of his investors who set about to sue Robinson, as well as Burns and Bolding. 

Then in July 2016, Caitlin Burns Holland applied for a malpractice policy with Attorneys Insurance Mutual of the South; on her application, she stated that she knew of no possible actions against her. Then in June 2017, Holland informed AIM that the "McKinney family" was preparing to make a claim against her in connection with the "millions of dollars" lost in Bryan Robinson's scam. AIM has now filed suit against Holland to have her malpractice policy voided on the basis of fraud. 

How will a court of law see Brad Bolding's and Caitlin Burns Holland's roles in this scam to defraud investors? That we don't know, but surely in the court of public opinion, Bryan Robinson should be the one to shoulder the majority of the blame for both defrauding investors and bringing two innocents into his web of lies.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Bryan Robinson & His House Flip Scam Victims

Bryan Robinson is perhaps best known for being part of the DreamVision Team...the man who stood before the public and announced that all funding for the project was in place. Yet that's not why we're taking another look at Robinson today. Remember his house-flipping scheme which allegedly claimed at least three victims who unwisely invested in this plan? It seems that two more have become collateral damage in his machinations.

Before we relate this tawdry tale, we want to ask if you've ever regretted assisting a friend as a favor...only to find out that you've been used? Perhaps you didn't think it through since your intent was to do nothing illegal? We believe this is the case with Caitlin Burns Holland and Brad Bolding who worked/partnered with Robinson. 

The sting: Bryan Robinson told potential investors and others that he had purchased approximately 20 defaulted properties in Madison County. Presumably he needed more cash to fix these homes up and sell them for a substantial profit, something known colloquially as "flipping." Robinson approached his investors with the line that he would produce this return in a very short time, that they had nothing to worry about since he would mortgage the properties to them until the sales were made. In other words, if the investors didn't get their money back on schedule, they would take possession of the homes which were worth much more than their investments. 

Robinson then typed, or had typed, these mortgages made out to the various investors, but used the name of a Madison County law firm:

Looks pretty official, doesn't it? The problem is that Bryan Robinson misspelled the name of the firm. It's not "Carlton & Jacobs," but "Cartron & Jacobs":

Logically, wouldn't Robinson have had an employee of this law firm notarize his signature? Yet for those who trusted Robinson, this didn't seem to be a problem...and that became their undoing.

Tomorrow: Bryan Robinson implicates his associates.



Resa Witt has posted on her FB  page that criminal charges have been brought against the deputy who had to escort her husband Terry out of the Colbert County Court House:

We're extremely curious as to just where these charges have been filed. After all she didn't say a complaint, she said "criminal charges," meaning something filed by state or federal government. While we may be curious, we're not going to hold our breath for some record of them to be sent us. 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Gun Control? Thermostat Control? Moral Control?

First, from Jay Redmon:

As a former educator, school shootings always hit me hard. However, while I grieve each one, I don't allow my emotions to get the best of my common sense.

Gun control measures DON'T WORK. If they did, countries that have harsh controls over firearms access wouldn't have ANY murders. Most politicians always promote gun control as a means of totally eliminating violent crime. Most such politicians live in a fantasy land devoid of personal responsibilities.

Now, speaking as a former law enforcement officer trained in Active Shooter Response, I'm a firm supporter of arming teachers. I'm not advocating arming ALL teachers, but the ones that are willing to undergo the extensive and intensive training should be afforded that option.

Teachers have been, and always will be, the TRUE First Responders to school tragedies. They need to be given the TOOLS to respond appropriately.




From Leslie M. Shoals:

There was a Valentine dance at the (Muscle Shoals) middle school over the weekend.

Principal Kevin Davis used the opportunity for a teachable moment. 

Yes, he sad he would teach Shoalanda and the parents a lesson by cranking up the heat so high on the children that it was unbearable.

Bullies will always bully, even against innocent children.

Bless the children and old people who can't defend themselves, for there are those who walk among us that are cowardly bullies who take their anger issues out on the innocent.

School Board - there are none so blind as they who will not see - or listen to the truth.

Leslie M. Shoals


A word about Bryan Robinson: 

Not all who use and abuse others do so at the point of a gun like Blake Austin Hines. Some set others up to take the fall for them. Some take the money and leave others holding the bag of seemingly illegal activities, destroying careers in their need to accumulate illegal wealth. 

Tomorrow we'll update our readers on Bryan Robinson's alleged house flipping scheme. It won't be a pleasant read.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

What "Yellowhammer News" Said...

We've said before that we're moderates on almost all issues. That means middle of the road and that means "gun control" as well. We like to read the opinions of others, as long as they're well thought out and well written. Alabama's Yellowhammer News is often criticized for being too conservative, even nutty. Late last week, the publication blamed recent mass murders on the fact that Americans have become more evil.

It's something no rational person would want to believe, but is it actually true? Or is it a case of past generations simply knowing if they acted on their evil impulses they would be immediately punished...and not by a court of law, but by a gang of vigilantes who would make every second of their last minutes on earth a living hell?

Maybe it's a little bit of both?



Speaking of evildoers and readers asking why such criminals aren't punished, we were reminded of 23 year-old Blake Austin Hines. He remains in the Lauderdale County Detention Center as of today, having been there since his early January arrest:

At 17, Hines pistol whipped a woman in her 80s, stealing her money and prescription drugs. He received a three year split sentence. Three years. Split. For pistol whipping and robbing an elderly woman. Think about that.

You be the jury. What would you have given Blake Austin Hines? What do you think Hines will get this time? 

If Blake Austin Hines had gotten what he deserved for the armed home invasion, he wouldn't have been around in January to steal those two vehicles...

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Extending Voter Registration/The Witts

We've recently highlighted some proposed changes in state laws that are silly, pandering, and just plain inane. One has now been introduced by Sen. Hank Sanders that may mean well, but would almost be impossible to carry through. Sanders wants voter registration extended to the Monday before a Tuesday election.

Registrars in some counties can now barely update their lists with registration ending two weeks before the election. We don't see this bill going anywhere, but it does point out how well-meaning proposed changes in state laws are often not logical. Oops, we've just used a variation of one of the dirtiest words in the history of mankind. If you're not a regular reader and are totally lost, that word is "logic."


Yesterday we blogged on the Witts, a Tuscumbia couple planning on suing several entities in Colbert County over alleged blackmail by the Colbert County Animal Control. After we published, we received several private comments from readers about this couple.

In the past decade or so, this former Mississippi couple has initiated several lawsuits. Resa Witt alone has sued the Franklin County Board of Education - not once, but twice. She has also sued an insurance company and just last year established a GoFundMe page for her husband. It seems Terry Witt was injured when a truck pulled into this path, causing him such bodily injury that he was forced to drop out of UNA where he was pursuing a bachelor's degree. Witt lost that semester's tuition; we'll assume there's a lawsuit or two connected to that story as well. In short, Colbert County Animal Control isn't the first to feel the legal wrath of the Witts.

We don't wish to elaborate too much here since a local news outlet is doing a story on the Witts' problem with a respected local veterinarian; however, it seems some have misunderstood the outcome of the situation. The cat in question is still very much alive and hissing. It was returned to the Witts...unfortunately. We understand Prince will soon be in contact with the unlucky moggy to help devise an escape plan.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Rating Terry & Resa Witt the "Scumma de Terra"

Above are Terry and Resa Witt. Currently the Witts are in disputes with at least nine entities in the Shoals area. Nine? Perhaps we shouldn't count the TimesDaily, but we'll throw that one in last. Here's the rundown: 

1. The Witts say they took a presumably healthy cat to be boarded at a doctor's office. The veterinarian says Terry Witt asked for the cat to be euthanized. (Domestic vengeance? Just a thought.)

2. The Witts say a Colbert County animal control officer blackmailed them over the cat when they wanted to get it back. The officer denies this allegation.

3. The Witts say the Colbert County administrator refused to give them the public records they asked for. The administrator says it takes time to get salary information on ALL of Colbert County's employees. We'll throw in a "we say" here also: The administrator probably had to get the info printed out from payroll and picked up there. Such information should NOT be readily available on everyone's computer.

4. The Witts say a Colbert County Sheriff's deputy harassed Terry Witt. The deputy says he simply asked Witt to calm down and leave the courthouse at that particular heated moment. A word of advice: If law enforcement asks you to do something, it's always a good idea to do it.

5. The Witts say everyone who averred the deputy was simply doing his job were lying.

6. The Witts say Colbert County Sheriff Frank Williamson is being investigated for theft of county funds. Nothing has been reported on any such investigation so far.

7. The Witts say head of Colbert Animal Control is in cahoots with the animal control officer. The head of animal control says the officer's story checks out.

8. The Witts say the Animal Control Board is corrupt and are starting a website to reveal all.

9. The Witts say the TimesDaily hasn't accurately told their story. Our personal take is that the local rag has already given these would-be cat killers too much space already.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Trains, Sheffield, & Billy Underwood

From the Midnight Rider:

Trains, Sheffield & Billy Underwood
By: The Midnight Rider

The subject of trains is a very sore subject for the citizens of Sheffield, Tuscumbia and Muscle Shoals. It has seemed lately that there has been an increase of train traffic at these city’s crossings. That is not a bad thing; the bad thing is that trains are sitting still on the tracks, blocking traffic. This has especially been true in Sheffield.
Okay, let’s look at this.A long train can block all the crossings in Sheffield. This in fact cuts the City in half. What if an ambulance is coming from North Montgomery Avenue going to Keller Hospital? They have to sit and wait on the train. What if there is a problem south of the tracks that requires Police presence? But all the crossings are blocked.  
Some people have said that you can drive to the Tuscumbia crossing on Blackwell Road or go to the crossing at Avalon. Well, if it was your loved one in that Ambulance do you want them to have to drive all over the place to cross the train tracks? What if that loved one does not have time to live and not getting them directly to the Hospital causes their death?  
There is a definite problem. County Commissioner Tommy Barnes has stated that he has observed a train blocking a crossing for over an hour. There has been talk for years of an over pass in Sheffield. Well that is great but I don’t see that happening anytime soon. I think the Cities of Sheffield, Tuscumbia and Muscle Shoals should contact Norfork-Southern and come up with a solution to this problem.  
Is it going to have to take the death of someone in an Ambulance waiting for a train and the resulting Civil Lawsuit to get action for this problem?

Sheffield Loses Again

This past Tuesday, the City of Sheffield lost 2 Police Officers and 1 Firerighter. All 3 City Employees had been with the City for some time. But, you know what; I guess the City Council doesn’t see it as a problem. They will just hire someone else, send them to training and then they will leave. It is a vicious cycle.

Billy Underwood

First off, I don’t know Billy Underwood, more than saying hi to him a couple of times. I have read what the TimesDaily and various news sources have written about him recently about his arrest. Now, I might just be a country bumpkin, but I have to think that Mr. Underwood is smarter than to become involved in a scandal or which he is accused.  
Mr. Underwood is good at his job. He is an Attorney that is best suited for certain types of litigation. I am sure he has p***ed some folks off during his career. I think that there is more to this story that has been published. Is this a personal vendetta against Mr. Underwood from someone that he might have p***ed off?   
Remember folks, just because it was in the newspaper or on TV, it is not the Gospel. All of this could be wrong. So, with that, I am saying, I will support Mr. Underwood.  
 “Give them hell, Billy.”

That’s it for now. But remember, the Midnight Rider will always be around to voice his/her/their (?) opinion.  

I am and always will be
the Midnight Rider

Since the election season is upon us, we will be publishing guest commentaries from several readers. We invite these submissiona, but reserve the right to edit to remove libelous content. Please stick to policy if at all possible; then again, if the candidate kills, cooks, and eats kittens, our readers might just want to know that little fact...

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A Valentine's Wish for Everyone, Especially Lauderdale County

If we could give our leaders any gift this Valentine's Day, it would be to place a little more love in their hearts...and to put it poetically, not so much love in other parts. Anyone heard from Bobby and Becky recently?


It hasn't been all that long ago that Michelle Obama took flak for stating she hadn't always been proud of her country. Today, we're publicly stating we're not particularly proud of our county at this moment.

After the Lauderdale County Commission meeting Monday night, a member was overheard saying the current policy on animal confiscations would not be changed. Why? It seems they don't think sole animal control officer Dwayne Oliver is capable of handling a gun and officers who confiscate property should be armed.

Send Oliver to be trained? Ah, here's the kicker: They don't think he's worth it. We hope Oliver is reading this. We hope he resigns and the commission is forced to hire someone certified in weapons. Voila! Problem solved.

We're pretty much in favor of voting out any commissioners who refuse to vote to change this law. How about you, Lauderdale County voters?


Lest you think the commission is the only entity in Lauderdale County that doesn't care about animal welfare, look no farther than circuit court. We all know that just saying something doesn't make it so; a career criminal who says his cousin helps spring him from jail is probably blowing smoke (Gerald Surratt's grandmother and Judge Ben Graves' grandfather were siblings). 

So, no, we don't blame Graves for any accident of birth. What we do blame him for is returning animals to abusive owners. We've been sent a list of cases where Graves has done just that. What have the owners done? They've continued their abusive behavior, and nothing has changed. 

Abusive individuals are just that...abusive to animals, spouses, and children alike. We may not be able to put an end to it, but we can put a dent in it. Let's elect those who walk the walk, shall we?

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Feel Good Laws from Real Bad Lawmakers

Before little Sadie Grace died in a grease pit in Auburn last year, how many children had previously died the same way? How many have died in that manner since her death?

Now we have the proposed Sadie Grace Law, courtesy of Tom Whatley of Auburn. We can think of few more horrible deaths than the one Sadie Grace Andrews suffered, but we also know if there had been any previous such deaths, the news media would have told us. 

The state senate has passed the Sadie Grace bill, and now it goes before the house. If it passes, then what? Guess what, it still will be only a few words on paper. Each county will have to enact its own standards in conjunction with the local health departments...much like Lauderdale County's interpretation of a law allowing animal control officers to confiscate abused animals.

Gov. Ivey could have sat down with the head of the Alabama Health Department and created wording for a new inspection law to be added to current restaurant rating forms. Such an ordinance would have actual teeth to it. As it stands now, if the law is passed, still only health department inspectors will investigate any problems at restaurants. Why wasn't it done in a much more clear and simple way?

Oh, right. Tom Whatley wouldn't have gotten the glory and it wouldn't be quite so dramatic to hear that the health department was taking care of any problems with grease traps. After all, our state legislature is the go to organization for useless laws combined with pats on their collective back. How much did this law, even if it doesn't pass the house (and it will), cost the taxpayers...when Kay Ivey could have accomplished the same thing by simply investing a few minutes of her time?



Do you know what a blue apron is? Apparently, it's what chefs in training must wear. It's also, in homage, a food delivery service for those seeking a more healthy lifestyle. It seems Donald Trump likes the concept and wants to incorporate it into the SNAP program.

If you/your family receive at least 90.00 in benefits each month, half would be in delivered food grown in the U.S. The other half would remain as an actual cash benefit placed on the recipient's EBT card.

Sound, ummm, undoable? Yes, it certainly does.