Friday, April 20, 2018

Does MS Industries Have Horns or Not?


When MS Industries first arrived on the scene in Lawrence County, several very learned environmentalists predicted disaster. MSI persevered and now has a distinct presence in Lawrence and Franklin Counties, with corporate offices in the latter. With the average of many such businesses being 30 years, we see that MSI promises at least 50.

But is MSI a good neighbor? The silica producing entity has just purchased a new Russellville restaurant, an eatery that was highly hyped and only two months old. Now the Bricks will shut down, at least for several months and perhaps forever.


Is it the intent of MSI to buy up more buildings/businesses in downtown Russellville? Is this an improvement or simply a way for the mining concern to thumb its nose at a town that initially didn't want it?

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Speaking of Russellville, we see that things are not looking up for our favorite Franklin County bad boy:


Will J.J. get life without? We're not a betting group here, but if we were, we would definitely put our money on Joey Rushing asking for it. BTW, still flouting the law, J.J. can be found on Facebook offering words of wisdom to his fans all the way from Fountain. 

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Our local sheriffs often get a bum rap for not maintaining order in the various purviews under their jurisdiction. A reliable source has told us the Lauderdale Detention Center had some cells last weekend housing 30 men in facilities designed for eight. You have to admit it's hard to cross every "t" and dot every "i" under those conditions...




Thursday, April 19, 2018

Time for Tiered Sex Offender Ratings?


Many states have tiered sex offender ratings. In other words, if an individual didn't know what Second Degree Rape was, he/she would know that a Tier Two sex offender was not dangerous. Some go beyond the two layered tier to add an even higher level for violent offenders/predators. 

We see many advocate some strong punishment for all sex offenders, but in a small percentage of these cases, it's simply not called for. To solve this problem, our legislators would have to act on it; then would it be retroactive? No simple solutions here.

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Bogey at Digital Roofing

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Similarly, what can be done in the area of missing persons? Some are reported almost immediately, while others are not reported to law enforcement for a month or longer. The latter was the case with the young man whose body was found in East Lawrence; he had not been seen in over 30 days when a family member reported him missing. 

Yet we have a woman missing from Moulton whose disappearance was reported in 17 hours. Kidnapping or accident? This could be the case, but law enforcement has looked in Gulf Shores for the city councilman's wife. If it should prove she just decided to pull a bunk as a young Birmingham woman did a few months ago, she should be made to repay the efforts extended on her behalf and funded by taxpayers.

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Remember our friends at Digital Roofing? Zach and Chris and their supervisor Bogey? One of our favorite readers appeared to be a great fan of Zach, while most preferred Bogey! They want everyone to know that their business extends to Shoals. Try them; we'll think you'll like them...




Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Same Muscle Shoals City Council?


At the meeting on 4/16/2018, the Muscle Shoals City Council voted to eliminate the term limits for the North Alabama Gas District. All other boards come under the two term limit rule. We must ask why? Well, the answer is probably quite simple. The council says it’s because two members of the board are appointed by the Madison City Council and Madison doesn’t impose term limits. Good try fellows but this answer doesn’t pass the smell test. Muscle Shoals has absolutely nothing to do with the Madison appointments and Madison has absolutely nothing to do with the Muscle Shoals appointments. So then what could possibly be the reason…hmmm… Well, looking at the makeup of the City Council and certain employees of the North Alabama Gas District, we can begin to see what’s going on.


Just so happens that a certain long time councilman’s (Councilman A) son works for the NAGD…Oh but wait, we’re not through, another long time councilman’s (Councilman B) son also works for the NAGD. But of course neither councilman had anything to do with their sons being hired. Sorry guys but that won’t pass the smell test either because a NAGD board member at the time councilman A’s son was hired made the mistake of bragging (while somewhat intoxicated) how he got the boy hired. But then this member was removed from the board when the council passed the rule that board members couldn’t be related to employees of the board they serve on, so the board member was immediately placed on another prestigious, money paying-free vacation board. Councilman B said he knew nothing about his son even seeking employment with the NAGD and that the boy just walked right in the NAGD office and convinced the manager that he should hire him and he did. Well, that doesn’t pass the smell test either because the manager tells a completely different story of how Councilman B continuously contacted him about hiring his son. So, let’s see if you really plan to do the right thing. Term limit resolutions mean nothing because your individual vote determines the number of terms for each member. So guess you’ll have to try again to avoid exposure to your underhanded deed. GOTCHA!



Same City Council voted to impose two term limits on all municipal boards. However, the meeting prior to passing this resolution, two members were reappointed to the Electric Board – another money paying-free vacation board. Problem was, one of the newly reappointed board members couldn’t keep a secret and told that he had been in conversation with some of the city councilmen and that he and the other board member had nothing to worry about because they wouldn’t pass the resolution until they were reappointed.  Matter of fact, the individual had no idea one of the people he was telling had his phone on record…oh the beauty of today’s technology.



Same City Council, with the exception of Mr. Chris Hall, voted to send a request to the legislature which will place an additional 5 mil property tax on Muscle Shoals residents. Council members say we are the lowest mil rate in the area…THEY LIED! Check with Revenue Commissioner Oswalt and you’ll see we already pay 16 mils. When asked where they got their info, ready for this answer…BOE Superintendent Brian Lindsey told them it was 7.5…HE LIED! Four of the five (3 of which have served multiple terms) had no idea what the millage rate was…and guess what, they don’t care. You ask why pass such a resolution requesting the mil increase??? Their answer, because BOE Superintendent Brian Lindsey told them they had to have it.



Same City Council, with the exception of Mr. Chris Hall, would not honor the request of a citizen’s group to request the legislature allow Muscle Shoals to have an elected BOE. The fantastic four said they’re pleased with the way everything is being handled at the BOE. Of course, 3 of the 4 have spouses that either currently work for or have retired from the MS school system. OK to tax us but not OK to give us a referendum for an elected BOE.



Same City Council, with the exception of Mr. Chris Hall, voted to reappoint embattled BOE member Clayton Wood for another 6 year term. Councilman Ken Sockwell personally told several of us who spoke with him that he was not supporting Mr. Wood’s reappointment…but guess what…HE LIED and voted for Wood!    



Well the list could go on and on but we’ll stop here and let these sink in for a while. People of Muscle Shoals surely expect much better than this. We dare any member of the council to deny any of the above facts because we won’t hesitate to publicly bring forward the proof positive. First, we’ll work to defeat the mil tax and then we’ll work to remove Noles, Willis, Lockhart and Sockwell. Good news is, there are already individuals lining up to run against Lockhart and Sockwell so now all needed are opponents for Willis and Noles.  More to come...stay tuned! 


A Muscle Shoals Citizen

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The above letter is extremely interesting. We took the liberty of putting the most interesting paragraph in red. If we lived in Muscle Shoals, we would be contacting not only our council, but Brian Lindsey.




Tuesday, April 17, 2018

District 6 Now a Three Man Republican Primary


The Republican race for District 6 in the Alabama Senate is now down to three: Larry Stutts, Eric Aycock, and Steve Lolley. Let's have a quick look at them.

Larry Stutts - The Muscle Shoals physician barely beat out Roger Bedford to win this seat in the last election. He immediately made news in Montgomery, but not for any good reasons. AL.com voted Doc Larry its Scumbag of the Year.

Eric Aycock - This Muscle Shoals businessman is new to politics. His platform is refreshing and his campaign manager is the daughter of one of Stutts' deceased patients. See Scumbag of the Year.

Steve Lolley - Lolley is from Guin and has been campaigning mainly in Marion and Franklin Counties. At this time, how much of an asset he would be to the Shoals is a question mark.


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After the June 5th primary, the Republican winner of the above race will face Democrat Johnny Mack Morrow...presumably. We say presumably since there's quite a bit of time between the primary and the November general election.

We're waiting for the attorney general office's report on Morrow expense reports. Will there be an October bombshell? And if there is negative news, will Morrow soldier on?





Monday, April 16, 2018

Colbert Countian's Letter to Church of the Highlands


April 16, 2018
Mr. Chris Hodges
Founder and Senior Pastor of Church of The Highlands
4700 Highlands Way
Birmingham, Alabama 35210
Dear Mr. Hodges:
It has come to my attention as well as others that Chester and Joe Mckinney have opened a halfway house. Their plan is to house former inmates that were incarcerated at the same prisons where Church of The Highlands ministry operates. The two men presently living at the Four Way Inn Motel at 512 Hwy 43 S Tuscumbia, Al 35674, are convicted sex offenders. Both men were brought into our community in secrecy without a word from Chester or Joe Mckinney. There was no notification by law SB 301 from our Sheriff Frank Williamson.
On March 20, 2018 during our County Commissioners meeting I addressed the Commissioners concerning this “so called” halfway house. Not long after, Chester McKinney spoke and explained his plan for this program headed by Willie Simpson. Mr. McKinney announced to the public that Church of The Highlands is helping with this program. Mr. McKinney also told the Tuscumbia Mayor Bubba Underwood that Church of the Highlands was to oversee the sex offenders.
This poses SERIOUS questions for Colbert County...
1. What part does Church of the Highlands (COH) play in the plan for a halfway house here in Colbert County, in the State/ ADOC, and in other cities?
2. What connection is there between COH and LifeLink ministry? How long has it been around?
Randy Walker for years has been the head or pastor of the Prison Ministry at COH. He is the founder of LifeLink and is on the Prison campus in the “Faith Dorm.”
3. Does LifeLink run the Faith Dorm?
LifeLink has been assigned space in the dorm and has a full time employee in Bibb County Correctional Facility.
4. How is all this funded? Who screens the guys before the Reentry? Who is responsible if they get out in my community and molest a child or my child?
5. How does the work release program through “Faith Dorm” at Bibb County Correctional Facility work?
I know that Church of the Highlands hosts all the ADOC training at your churches main campus. I’’ also aware COH has a ADOC employee come in and train COH members to go into the 17 different prisons. We (Randy Smith and I) had a sit down meeting with Shoals COH pastor, Caleb Chambers. I ask him who pays the ADOC employee to come in and train your members.
6. Has COH taken over the ministry and the work release program in Alabama State Prisons? Who pays the ADOC employee to do the training at your COH campus(s)?
7. Does COH / LifeLink / The Halfway House(s) get funding from the DOJ (Federal) ADOC (State) or County/Local grants and or money from local businesses/ corporations or foundations?
8. What does COH know about the Faith Based Partnerships ( U.S. CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS Title 28Chapter IPart 38 - PARTNERSHIPS WITH FAITH-BASED AND OTHER NEIGHBORHOOD ORGANIZATIONS )which involves the church and ministries as Government contractors?
9. Is this or any other of your Reentry programs required to be ran, including the Faith Dorm- as an Interfaith or all Faiths operation like other Faith Based Programs are ran?
10. If you are taking money from the churches or from your own church too, Isn’t their not a *Fiduciary Responsibility on the part of COH - LifeLink - Randy Walker - Chris Hodges - and everyone involved in this prison Reentry ministry - given that funding is being solicited and support in other ways - volunteers are being organized - Isn’t there a Fiduciary Responsibility with this program to those who help fund it and the community it is to serve?
(*Fiduciary Duty- A legal obligation of one party to act in the best interest of another. The obligated party is typically a fiduciary, that is, someone entrusted with the care of money or property. Also called fiduciary obligation!)
11. Who is responsible if a child is harmed by former inmates in your Reentry Programs?
I think at a minimum you owe Colbert County and our communities families answers to these questions! Your prompt reply is appreciated to clear up any and all confusion on this subject.
Sincerely,
Ed Bowman
Concerned Parent &
Colbert County Resident
Cc: Breken Terry-WAAY 31 News
Russ Corey, Times Daily
Dino Rizzo, Executive Director of ARC (Association of Related Churches)
Associate Pastor of Church of the Highlands Birmingham Campus
Caleb Chambers, COH,-Shoals Campus
Randy Walker Correctional Ministry Pastor/ Lifelink Church of the Highlands
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A Worship Service or a Widespread Panic Concert?
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In case anyone missed it, the two remaining sex offenders at the Four-Way motel have been moved to the luxurious Regal Inn in Sheffield. Weren't there facilities in Montgomery to take them?
Anyone else find it interesting that Chris Hodges calls himself founder of this church? We owe Al Gore an apology.
Finally, while we disagree with Mr. Bowman on many of his views, he's spot on concerning this issue.


Sunday, April 15, 2018

"Ten Commandments" Issue in Governor's Race?


Bill Hightower is a Republican. He's running for governor. He's conservative. In other words, he was pretty much a cookie-cutter candidate. That is until he said in the recent debates he doesn't support the proposed constitutional amendment allowing representations of the Ten Commandment on state property. How did his opponents take this? Picture a pack of ravenous wolves jumping on a bucket of KFC.

The fact that the amendment will be declared unconstitutional in courts of law or that the state would then be forced to place representations of words of wisdom from the Flying Spaghetti Monster in similarly public locations doesn't seem to bother these other candidates. We give props to Hightower who also commented that bragging about one's Christianity shouldn't be part of a political campaign. He may just be the man to defeat Kay Ivey.


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Speaking of elections, the primary is seven weeks away. If any local candidates with opposition in the June 5th election have press releases on their platforms, please send them to us. We'll begin to make endorsements in a few weeks.





Saturday, April 14, 2018

Sheriffs and Parents?


This election season has already turned muddy, especially in the Colbert County Sheriff's race. One point critics of the current sheriff make concerns a timely manner of reporting. Over the years we've noticed that very few counties are timely in updating their most wanted or sex offender list. We attribute this to a lack of manpower rather than any shoddy job performance. 

Would you expect a sheriff to direct an office worker to change the oil in the squad cars? No, most people wouldn't. So no one should expect all sheriff's deputies to be able to sit down at a computer and magically learn a program in ten seconds in order to update various lists once or twice a day.

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We've mentioned before that if you're on a warrant or most wanted list, it's extremely prudent to check to be sure your name has been taken off. The same holds true for checking the arrest/booking information law enforcement provides the press. Just because you pay a fine, it doesn't automatically follow that anyone actually removes your name from their website on that day.

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Now a (highly edited) letter from another concerned citizen in eastern Lauderdale County:

You are not a concerned citizen of Lexington nor do you speak for anyone in Lexington. If you are so adamant about your child being on the team then maybe you should teach them how to play the game. There were 35 kids that tried out and 20 of them made the team. Did you hear that?? 20 kids out of 35 made the team. That means more made the team than did not. Maybe your kid does’t want to play and you are forcing it on him. Is that why you have to hire private coaches? I am guessing that none of the kids that were good enough to make the team hired anyone to help them. Most of them had parents that helped them learn the game. And you want to talk about cheating???? Seriously??

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We have to ask if parents of debate team members worry this much over their child's success?




Friday, April 13, 2018

"Expose Church of the Highlands?"


Edward Bowman, critic of Chester McKinney's Four-Way Motel halfway house has stated: 

I’m going to expose Church of the Highlands for what they really are. 

Bowman has also accused the local leader of the mega-church of not telling the truth about the church's involvement in the unpopular project. It appears that while part of this story is winding down, other aspects are heating up.



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Morning Consult produces a quarterly poll on many subjects, including the popularity of state senators. Alabama's highly respected Richard Shelby has a 51% approval rating for the first three months of 2018. How about Doug Jones? Our Democratic senator is only four points behind with a 47% approval rating. 


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So how is Sen. Jones' former opponent doing back home in Alabama? Roy Moore's Facebook page just keeps on going, announcing a lawsuit against his chief accuser from the fall campaign. He's also taking swipes at Sen. Jones' gay son and considering suing Disney and Viacom for producing television talk shows which belittled him. 

Perhaps it's time to announce an official state clown?





Thursday, April 12, 2018

Parents, Why Are You Pushing Your Children?


Two days ago we published a guest blog by some Lexington parents concerning the selections for the varsity basketball teams. Were they biased? We have since been told that 20 were chosen out of 35 applicants, or about 57%. We will assume that students knew approximately what the odds were for making the team before the two-day selection process. 

While we're happy to give local citizens a voice, we certainly don't agree with everything sent to us. If we had been a Lexington parent, we would have simply tried to determine how much the child wanted to play. If this was some life-long dream, a little more coaching and a "better luck next year" would have been our preferred method of handling the situation. 

Almost immediately after publishing the blog on the Lexington team, we opened an e-mail from a Muscle Shoals parent. The main thrust of this guest blog was the inequality of boys' sports with girls' sports. Aha, this was something that seemingly needed to be pointed out, and we had no qualms about publishing it. 

The parent who sent the blog also mentioned some treatment of other players that was presumed to be preferential. In hindsight we should have deleted this short section; however, we let it stand the way it was written. Let's just say the mother of one of the softball players felt her child had been maligned. In fact, she was so upset, she sent a comment using her own name. Do we publish or not? It's always been our policy to publish comments unless they're libelous or vulgar, and this one was no exception. If she thought her child was embarrassed by the original article, how embarrassed is this child now?

Why do parents turn into absolute fanatics when it comes to their children's sports? How do these children feel when they don't live up to their parents' expectations? We also feel extreme sympathy for the coaches who have to deal with these parents. 

At one time parents used sports as a teaching tool: No, Johnny, you don't win every time in real life. Now they say: You were cheated. Where will these kids be in 20 years? If they're still expecting to be winners in every situation, we shudder to think.


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Now our funny for the day. It seems a northwest Alabama man who is in some serious trouble was upset about the coverage his drug arrest had brought to his family. After he and his wife bailed out of jail, he promptly took to Facebook to tell these news outlets that they weren't arrested. That's right...they were only booked.




Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Do Girls Count at Muscle Shoals?


From a Muscle Shoals Parent:

With the exception of tennis and golf, has ANYONE in administration paid ANY attention to girls sports at Muscle Shoals lately? Apparently not, since coaches still have their jobs... When a senior quits a month before the season is over, someone should take note (and two others have quit as well). Maybe their 1-22 record has something to do with it, considering this team was a winning team while in middle school and on JV under the direction of a different coach. They are playing against the same teams, the difference? The Coach. Oh and a special player or two. One that proudly states she was RECRUITED at the end of her 8th grade year at Cedar Ridge to come to Muscle Shoals her Freshman year and promised to never be on the bench. That promise has been kept for TWO years, even playing varsity over seniors. All while only attending 4 of the 30 mandatory summer workouts, leaving for a week during the season to go on vacation during a tournament, and hiding behind the dugout to text on her phone during practices. But I guess if you’re recruited then it doesn’t matter what you do, you will play anyway, even if you have 2 or 3 errors per game.

That brings us to coaching; what are the rules to be a Varsity coach? Don’t you have to be a teacher? Does a bus driver qualify as a teacher? The Varsity coach who has run this team into the ground is NOT a teacher. He has already pushed around his last QUALIFIED varsity coach that he had as his JV coach and she became the Varsity Volleyball Coach. Now, he has another QUALIFIED coach that he has as a JV coach and he pushes her around as well. Shouldn’t she be the Varsity coach since she is a teacher and he is a bus driver?

Would this help the program? Or does Administration even care? Well, when you look at the fact that Muscle Shoals is a 6A school and does NOT even have a JV girls basketball team because the girls won’t play for the coach, you’d think something would have been addressed there. The Varsity team that they did have included a middle schooler, a freshman, 2 sophomores, 3 juniors, and 2 seniors. Not enough to even scrimmage each other in a practice game. Is this a problem worth looking at?

Something needs to be done, Muscle Shoals girls sports have been something to laugh at and it’s a coach issue not a talent issue. It’s time to make the girls feel like they are a part of the faMily because it seems that the only thing that is ever talked about (besides football) is boys' sports. Just look at their Twitter. 

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We've received several rebuttals to yesterday's letter from Lexington parents. We'll be publishing them shortly, but want to give everyone a chance to answer. Again, it's merely an opinion, but school sports offer an excellent opportunity for parents to teach their children that life is not always fair. It's also the perfect time to teach children to redirect their energy into a field where they will come out on top.

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If you haven't caught Pen-N-Sword's new site, be sure to do so now. We congratulate them on the end product.





Tuesday, April 10, 2018

New Sheffield Chief/Lexington Coaches


To the Sheffield City Council: 

I had hopes of attending last night's meeting at City Hall to discuss the hiring of a new Chief of Police for Sheffield. However, working out of town prevented my participation. Had I been able to attend, I would have stated the following:

As a former LEO and current tax-paying citizen of Sheffield, I expect the new Chief to be a leader for his/her officers. Sheffield's citizens deserve a Chief of Police that will inspire and provide guidance. Not make excuses.

The Police Department needs a Chief that will hold his/her officers accountable for aggressive patrolling of our neighborhoods, downtown businesses, as well as traffic. I rarely see any such efforts made  towards any of those.

Lastly, the City needs to hire a Chief with the intention of allowing him/her to do their damn job, without being hamstrung, second-guessed, or otherwise constrained.

Respectfully,









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In response to the recent Junior Varsity basketball tryouts at Lexington High School, we would like for the community to be enlightened on how these so called tryouts were conducted and the teams established. In the beginning there were meetings with the sixth grade boys and girls to announce when tryouts would be held - Monday and Wednesday for the girls, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday for the boys, however the boys were told on Tuesday that there would not be tryouts on Friday. Although two days at ninety minutes a day may not seem like enough time to thoroughly see what each child has to offer to a team, it did not take one team long to decide that the only players they wanted were the current sixth grade TVBA team players. Is that why Friday tryouts were suddenly dropped? The coaches seen no need in wasting another day trying out when it was apparent that they wanted the TVBA team players only.

Is it a prerequisite that the child must have played on a TVBA team to be considered to play for the Lexington Bears? If so, why was this not stated at the meeting to announce tryouts? These children were robbed of being able to prove themselves at a level playing field, and we aren’t talking about average children that have dribbled a basketball a few times. Some of the kids that were cut have played on different youth leagues basketball teams since the age of five, several that were star players of their teams. Some that have been coached by a hired private coach just to ensure they were good enough to make the team. Some that tried desperately to get information to join a TVBA team, but were brushed off by these so called coaches that never wanted to give them a chance.

This happens all too often in the world, people are selected more often because of who they are, not for what they can contribute. These kids that were cut because of not being TVBA players were set up for disappointment in the beginning because the coaches knew that they would not select them. Perhaps the coaches thought that it would go unnoticed, but it most definitely has not. It is time for a change. These kids are at a time in their lives where they are learning from and watching their role models, in this case what should be coaches of a sport that they love. These coaches have failed them.  These coaches have cheated them. These coaches have crushed dreams of kids that have worked years to get to this point. All for what? These coaches should be ashamed of how these kids were treated and hopefully this will make them think twice when the next “tryouts” are held.

Concerned Citizens of Lexington, Alabama


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Ideally, sports in public schools should be open to everyone. Yet we live in a win-win culture. For every parent who wants his/her child to participate as a player or cheerleader, you have two who want to win at all costs. 

Our advice is for parents to encourage their children in areas of most talent. Would you rather your child be a champion chess player or a third-string footballer? Unfortunately in this state, many would prefer the latter.




Monday, April 9, 2018

Is Doc Larry Confused on Sex Offender Facts?


Recently, state senator Dr. Larry Stutts spoke about the new Four-Way Motel project, specifically mentioning the training/re-training of those men who would be housed there. Again, that brings us back to the 50/50 ratio of sex offenders.

While it's true that many who enter prison can barely read and write, there are two types of offenders who don't fall into that category: murderers and sex offenders. We have only to look at the trial scheduled to begin today in Lauderdale County for a prominent Florence businessman to prove this point. 

Yes, it's easy to think of alcoholics living in dark alleyways as the typical sex offender, but that simply isn't true. Sex offenders, for whatever reason, cannot control their perverse urges, be they physicians or ditch diggers.

We will assume that some parolees on the registry are in need of job training; however, if they didn't have a simple high school diploma, they should have gotten that before coming here. It's free and encouraged by the system. Work release? No, sex offenders are barred from work release, so in that is Stutts correct about the need for this program?

Hardly, if one is a sex offender at the Limestone Correctional Facility, this is the available training:



LCF PROGRAMS

We note that at least two of these job skills are highly lucrative, much more so than working in a lumber yard. It's also a pretty safe bet that if these men didn't take advantage of these FREE educational programs while they were in the system, they similarly will not be inclined to work at a trade upon release.


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How prepared are legislators, especially local ones? It's interesting to note that Gov. Ivey had announced some time ago that she would not sign any new taxes into law without a vote of the people. Yet Colbert County legislators persevered in their attempts at passing such a bill. 

Two questions:

1. Were they not listening to the governor?

2. How much of valuable legislative time did they waste with this bill?

When does Montgomery get its on reality show on the ID Channel?





Sunday, April 8, 2018

More Felony DUIs?


Often readers ask us why some individuals rack up seemingly endless DUIs and never go to prison. We've often heard that when someone is arrested by local police and tried in a municipal court, state records aren't always checked for previous convictions.

Now we see that the law has previously designated a five year cutoff for these type crimes, much like driver license points. The current legislature has changed that to ten years, so expect more felony DUIs. 

Let's hope that keeps more impaired drivers off the road.

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We had a reader express dismay that this blog often covers more than one topic in each entry. She apparently wanted to link part of our blog, but not all of it.

While we appreciate links that lead back to our site, in cases like that, readers may do a copy/paste directly to their FB if they wish. We do ask that they state where the material originated.

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On the Four-Way Motel front, we see that not only did Willie Simpson resign from Chester McKinney's ministry, he has removed the name Outreach Reentry Ministry from the endeavor. Presumably his offices will revert to the church building in Florence.

McKinney states he will continue with the project, finding new partners for his half-way house. It should be interesting to see whom he turns up.




Wednesday, April 4, 2018

"Color Me Confused"...and a Bonus!


Apparently the mad graffiti artist struck again in downtown Florence Sunday night. This time hitting his favorite target i.e. that long stretch of prime piece of cement that runs half a block down Tennessee street. As I sit here trying to figure out exactly what message the artist was trying to get across (Trump’s holding a gun, throwing paper at dead children in front of a school...I’m not an art major or that good at puzzles. I just don’t get it.), two points seem to jump off the page and hit me in the face right off the bat:
  1. These murals have been popping up in this same spot for as far back as I can remember and I’ve lived here for 42 yrs. This is the first time I can recall the images ever getting negative coverage by the Times Daily let alone broader sources of news such as WHNT 19. If anything the wall has been celebrated for being a historic symbol of free speech. You could practically hear the Florence elite shouting “Look how artistic we are!!” The only difference is this week the image is somewhat controversial (I think it is anyways...honestly I have no clue what the message means). My point is this; are we saying that graffiti is okay as long as we all agree it’s pretty and has a positive message? Are there degrees of graffiti that only belong in certain places around the city? Is this most recent image better suited for the Railroad Bridge where only yoga instructors and those wanting to rid themselves of their underwear will see it? Downtown deserves a better class of graffiti!!!
  2. Where were the police while this was going on? Have you seen the size of the wall this image covers? How long could this thing have taken to paint? Was it one person or did a hoard of aerosol spraying teens descend upon Tennessee street in the wee hours of Monday morning? I get not every street can be watched around the clock, but we are talking blocks from the police station. Not one cop drove by and thought “Hey why is that guy painting dead children on that wall?” or rather did someone notice and think “I wonder how are they going to top last week’s I HAVE A DREAM mural?” If this can be done without anyone calling the police then what’s to stop all out anarchy from taking place?
Honestly I don’t care what the image is, freedom of speech should cover the obscene and the un-obscene. If last week’s homage to Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t offend those driving through Florence or pop up on the police’s radar, why should this latest message mean anything more or less? If the City of Florence really cared anything about stopping this crime, they would have done something about it the morning after the first drop of paint ever touched that wall. What you will hear this week from local officials amounts to nothing more than a piece of tape they hope will cover the mouths of those who claim to be offended, but are actually just looking for something else to gripe about.

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*****

And the A.D. answers a reader's request:

While like others in the community I’m concerned anytime the subject of child molestation is brought up, I do believe that people deserve second chances. There was only ever one perfect person and he gave his life so we could live ours. People make mistakes but nothing is unforgivable in the eyes of the Lord. That’s not to say that should a murderer or in this case child molester were to move in to the house next to me, I wouldn’t be deeply concerned to the point I may move. My grandparents lived directly behind a McDonald's at one point and were constantly battling rats, roaches, and often woke up to the sight of a homeless person sitting in their backyard. If we feel there is a need for these types of services whether it be a prison, a retail store, or in this case a place for people to receive their second chance; then we must also accept that a certain amount of discomfort should come along with it on our part. I would challenge local officials to do their jobs and keep our community safe. 

As far as my occasional posting, just because I’m not writing doesn’t mean I’m not working to help and encourage others when and where I can. I’m always available to answer questions.




Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Readers Question the McKinneys & David Black


Below are three communications from readers. Two of these deal primarily with the Four-Way Motel project while the third concerns the credibility of David Black.

Letter One: 

Edgar Black county attorney told the county commissioners (in an email) prior to their last meeting not to comment on the sex offenders and the Roach hotel. He instructed them not to based on his legal opinion they have no jurisdiction or legal authority.

Then last night Hovater got up and made jokes like several others were.

I watched part of the live video that Bowman was filming and was rather appalled at the political pandering by a lot of people and their joking and laughing. 

Reminds me of "the circus is looking for its clown".

What a mess they are making out of this whole thing for political gains.

Tommy Barnes did not go to Tuscumbia last night. He spoke up at the last county commission meeting. He said then that he was elected to be responsible to the people. 

I'm sure David Black was out solving the financial problems of the world with all his wisdom. (Exactly what are his degrees in finance and teaching?)

Letter Two:
Just something to think about. In the Times Daily, Chester McKinney said the motel had been worked on by them to upgrade it. he mentioned finding tape around the doors, supposedly because meth had been cooked in the rooms. My question then and should be to everyone along with all the other questions we have is this: Was the motel and its rooms properly cleaned by a registered professional hazmat cleaning team so there is no transfer of residue, cross contamination from residue, ever done to assure the environmental safety of those living or working on the property? If so by what company? What are their credentials? Where were the contaminated materials carpet, wood, bedding, etc. removed to and disposed of properly? 

Research meth cooking residue. What were the test if any done? And what and who did them? Their credentials? What were the results? Is it the position of the church and of McKinneys that they are open to lawsuits by those they house? Lawsuits by those they might employ to clean, manage, repair, maintain the property? Due to the contamination.

Reading about these labs even the police use special suits to go in, cleaning and hazmat companies are required. Alabama doesn't have a law I am aware of but wouldn't this be interesting to have answers to?
Health department issue? Building inspection?

Could this be the key to finally ending this? I mean could there be cross contamination to other co-workers? Please if you could bring this up. It might be that the McKinneys and the church don't want to be sued by those they are so determined to "help". again just because they are hiding behind the good christian values and name doesn't excuse them from properly handling issues. M
aybe EPA even?
























































Letter Three:



I would say we have three choices here.

1. Someone set this up in Black's name as a joke.
2. Black doesn't know what a professor is.
3. Black is lying.

So which is it?

*****

Earlier today several individuals "confirmed" that Willie Simpson has left the Outreach Reentry Ministry. Since the name is still registered to him and John Williams (and we have not been able to determine just who John Williams is), Simpson can charge for the name if the McKinneys continue to use it. 

Pretty easy way to make some money...