Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Sheffield/Challenging Question

We've gotten quite a few comments from residents of Sheffield concerning grown up lawns. Most have stated the code is not fairly enforced. If you know of a lawn/lot whose owner needs to be contacted concerning the grass/health problems, call the Sheffield building inspector:

The Building Department and License Department are located in City Hall at 600 N. Montgomery Avenue, Sheffield, Alabama on the main floor.  Hours of operation are 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM, Monday - Friday.  Our mailing address is P.O. Box 380, Sheffield, Alabama 35660.  Contact us at 256-386-5606 or by Fax 256-386-5604. 

If anyone has any problems, let us know.


We also had several comments about our blog on the police lip-sync challenge. We failed to label the clip we published. No, it certainly wasn't Florence. The video was from the Skokie police department and has been labeled by critics as the best example of the fad so far. No comment. Wait, we will comment. They left out the Nazis.


We've been asked if it's true that a certain local police chief has forbidden his troops from participating in this lip-sync fad. We checked and have discovered there may be a video from that town's housing authority that would be even more entertaining. 

Monday, July 30, 2018

The Grass is Always Greener in Sheffield Municipal Court

Many small towns make money via the municipal court route. The collection of fines is not always fair, but, as they say, you can't fight city hall. Or can you?

Sheffield is a small town in desperate need of cash (that is until their version of DreamVision opens). Speed traps? That may be true, but there aren't too many city streets that would qualify as a venue for one. 

So what else is easy pickin's? Below is an account from a Sheffield resident. We are not including our reader's name, even though it was sent in connection to this article. It's an interesting situation with no easy answers.


On April 19th a letter was sent to me from the city of Sheffield building department warning me my grass on my lot was too tall. I complied and made sure it was mowed a day or two later. Now the city ordnance says if I do not comply then in 10 days the city will send me a citation to appear in court. On May 30th a citation to appear in court was sent and July 16th I showed up to court. 

Between April 19th to May 30th my grass was mowed 3 times. I have receipts for those mowings from the man I hired to mow the grass every 10-14 days Now May 24-29 it rained every single day and my grass cutting guy said he would not mow if the grass is wet. Because of all the rain my grass grew over the legal limit. When I went to court that day the prosecutor said it didn’t matter if I had receipts showing I had complied. What mattered is I was caught with tall grass after I was warned of the tall grass. 

So here is my argument, the law reads that the city must send a warning and I have 10 days to comply if I don’t comply in 10 days then the city must send me a summons. Ok so that means they are gonna take a picture on the day they went to send me a warning, then they must go out to look at the lot 10 days later and give me a citation if I have NOT complied. Not 41 days later. The city of Sheffield seems to think if they have warned someone once then the next time they catch you with tall grass from now until doom's day that they can send you a citation to appear in court. 

I tried to explain to the prosecutor that I had had the lot mowed 3 times and the reason it is high is the four five days of rain where the yard man wouldn’t come. He told me it doesn’t matter, how do I plead. I said I’m not pleading anything I refuse to take part in a kangaroo court. And be rooked in to something I didn’t do or had no control over. He blew up like a bomb, threatened me that he would set this for trial and he was asking for jail time. I told him I’m not scared go do it. What’s the most the judge is gonna give me 24 hours? He then had me tossed out of court. And never sent me my paperwork for trial. I had to call up to find out my trial date.

The city is abusing their own ordnance. They are not checking on the warned lots 10 days after a warning was sent and they using the warning as a forever way to cite people. The day I went to court there were 6 people in there for grass violations - the city has found a new revenue at 400 bucks a pop.


Anyone else like to report a similar incident?

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Criticism for Florence Police

So which had you rather do: Video a lip-sync or drink boiling water? No matter how silly you may look, we hope you chose the former. 

If you're not aware, many police departments are engaging in the lip-sync craze. Presumably that's because there's no crime in their towns. Some have been pretty bad, but some have been just short of perfection. The Muscle Shoals Police video is surely something to behold.

So did surrounding towns heap the officers with praise? At least one town says it can do better. Yes, Florence says it can outdo Muscle Shoals, presumably between solving several cold case murders. The FPD is so sure of itself that it released a teaser.

Now here's the kicker - the teaser is set in (drum roll) Sheffield. We were a little perplexed to see the Florence officer cavorting at a Sheffield landmark, but then we tend to notice little incongruities like that. This time, we weren't the only ones.

It seems many have commented on just why the FPD would film a video designed to showcase their department in a neighboring town. The comments haven't been exactly favorable. 

So will the finished video offer any surprises? We have no idea, but let's hope it depicts the FPD arresting the entire population of Muscle Shoals and herding them into the detention center. It may be the only way to redeem themselves.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

SROs v. Private Security (Or Lawsuit City)

The young man was accosted by three other boys outside his high school (still on school property). A private security guard ran to the young man's rescue. No, wait, he didn't. The young man being attacked was the smallest; the security guard picked him up, turned him upside down, and then pounded him into the concrete. The young boy required emergency surgery, and it's still unknown if he will ever be the same.

Think this couldn't happen here? The above incident happened in May of this year at Jemison High School in Huntsville where private security guards are used instead of SROs. These guards have no arrest powers, and their level of training is unknown. The injured student's family has already initiated a lawsuit against the security company and Huntsville City Schools.


We've related the above cautionary tale since we've been getting some very differing accounts of just who and what the City of Rogersville is seeking to fund at their school. A School Resource Officer is an actual law officer who is assigned to a school - definitely not private security. 

If Rogersville paid the salary of this person, or funneled the money to the Lauderdale County Board of Education to pay the salary, this person would not be an SRO. We have no idea at this point if the latter is the case here or if individuals are simply confused about the matter.

The salient point is that if this is private security, Lauderdale County High School, the BOE, and the city itself could be setting itself up for quite a lawsuit. But, hey, it's only taxpayer money.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Forget the Toffee Tee-Shirts

If you want to be really in, forget the "I Prayed for Toffee" tee-shirts. No, after reading that Rebeka Mason is now working at Robert Bentley's Tuscaloosa dermatology practice, we have an idea for a much better slogan:

Bobby & Becky Cleared Up My Skin

Information emerging from depositions in a legal case have revealed that the LuvGuv pays his hands-on help sixty thousand a year to be his...hmmm, we're not really sure of her job description.

We'll just wait for the trial to clear that up as well as everyone's skin.


Lauderdale County School SRO? More information is leaking out. It seems that the town will pay 14 thou, or half the new SRO's salary. Donations are expected to make up the rest. Really? 

Rogersville has approximately 1,200 residents. That's over $10.00 per every citizen. So tell us how generous you feel, Rogersville?

Thursday, July 26, 2018

SRO Controversy in Rogersville

A SRO is a school resource officer. These men and women are placed by police or sheriff's departments in local schools in order to prevent what could be a tragic situation. In some cases, their jobs amount to little more than hall monitors, but in a worst case scenario, these officers are in a position to prevent a school shooting. 

The Association of School Resource Officers recommends one SRO for every 1,000 students. According to published records, Lauderdale County School (K-12) has 1,170 students. Last year, it had either one or two SROs in place. Yes, it's an interesting situation.

In March of this year, Rogersville mayor Richard Herston said he was worried about a school shooting taking place in his fair town. The school, according to Herston, really needed two SROs. Whether funded by Rogersville Police or the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Office, our readers were unsure. We strongly suspect the funding comes from the LCSO. 

Since there was no funding available for a second SRO, Mayor Herston donated $8,000.00 of the town's money to the employer of record and paid two months of salary until the end of term. Whether this paid for various matching taxes, etc., we don't know. This is an important point that needs to be clarified.

Now we've reached July and a new school term will soon be starting. Herston has stated it will cost $28,000.00 to fund a second SRO for the entire term. Will the coffers of Rogersville be coughing again? Apparently, not. Herston and others have come up with the idea to have a fundraiser. Stop by Adams Body Shop in Rogersville and you can donate to this project. We assume there are other locations as well. Our readers are concerned, and well they should be.

If Acme Catering provides lunches at the school, should residents of the small river town expect a fund raiser to hire a better chef? Interesting question, but the answer might be no since the catering service would be contracted through the Lauderdale County School Board.

Perhaps a more valid question would involve the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Office. If the residents of Amphibian Overhang Hamlet feel that the Killen Police and LCSO aren't doing a good enough job of patrolling their gated community, could they give one or both of those law enforcement agencies funding to provide a certified officer with arrest powers to patrol their streets from dusk until dawn?

Perhaps the most relevant question harks back to the legality of this situation. The readers who have contacted us are concerned over the exact disposition of this donation and what liability might go with it. That's not to mention that some are very unhappy about being hit up for donations to a project they've always felt was paid for with their tax dollars.

To those who are concerned, we advise them to attend the next city council meeting. We also recommend that they contact the attorney general's office for a ruling on the matter. You may not be forced to give to this project, but if it goes wrong, your tax dollars may be used to defend it. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Roy Moore Sues Shoals Native Adam Muhlendorf

Yes, Roy is at it again. His latest lawsuit names four individuals involved in pro Doug Jones campaign ads, including Adam Muhlendorf of Longleaf Strategies. Those being sued are calling the suits frivolous. We can hardly wait to hear what a real judge says to Roy...

Adam Muhlendorf


One of the basic premises in Roy's suit concerns ads mentioning his being banned from the Gadsden Mall. According to more than one, while not banned from the mall itself, he was banned from several stores that primarily catered to teens/young adults.

Roy specifically mentions he was never banned from Morrison's Cafeteria. Of course not. The Etowah ADA had no interest in 75 year old cafeteria ladies, now did he?


During Roy's recent press conference, his attorney Melissa Isaak again played a prominent role. We understand that she has her admirers/supporters; however, we sincerely wish to offer some advice:

The Laws of Lipstick

Cleaning House? None (Are you crazy? Who wears lipstick to clean the toilet bowl?)

9 to 5 Job? Light color (Don't give the male element anything to criticize or reason to suggest more than friendship. You're professional, so act like it.)

Shopping? Deeper color (Girls just wanna have fun, and it's okay to entice in a broadly thrown net. Uh, well, maybe not at the Gadsden Mall.)

Hot Date? Katie bar the door (You're gonna get that magenta all over him.)

There you have it - the 2018 version of Unto You, Young Women.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Colbert & Franklin Came in First...Unfortunately

There's a new study on opioid prescriptions. Conducted by Harvard University, the study ranks the number of opioid users per Congressional District. Of the top five districts in the U.S., Alabama placed two. Think about that.

The number one district in the country is Alabama's Fourth Congressional District which includes: 

Franklin, Colbert, Marion, Lamar, Fayette, Walker, Winston, Cullman, Lawrence, Marshall, Etowah, and DeKalb counties, plus parts of Jackson, Tuscaloosa, and Cherokee counties.

Lauderdale Countians? You can breathe a sigh.


Hey, gang, Roy Moore is holding a news conference tomorrow. Yes, he's going to announce his latest lawsuit.

Okay, we hear several groans and at least one reader snoring. Don't take it out on us...not our fault at all.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Lady McBride Has Tax on Her Hands

From Stop the Home Tax Page:

Muscle Shoals City Schools and Superintendent Brian Lindsey have apparently decided that there is nothing morally wrong with using taxpayer resources to promote their "Vote Yes" campaign on the 67% tax increase. This morning as I drove by McBride Elementary School, I was stunned to find them advertising for the tax! The only thing I can figure is that they're sensing their tax increase is going to be voted down now that this Facebook Page exists and Stop the Home Tax PAC has been opened to oppose the massive tax increase.

Can you imagine the outrage if the school system decided to promote a candidate for city council on their signage? What if they were using taxpayers' money to give free advertising to a teacher at the school who had decided to run for State Board of Education? The public would be demanding an explanation and that the illegal and unethical campaign tactics be stopped immediately!

How is this any different? Why do they think it is OK to use our own money to tell us how to vote? Please call Muscle Shoals City Schools at at 256-389-2600 and demand that they take this advertisement down and fight fair!

Additionally, there is no "Paid for by" on this sign, which is a clear violation of state law. Any individual or group advocating for or against a ballot referendum is required by law to put a "Paid for by" disclaimer on all of their advertisements.


Some comments regarding the ethics of public employees receiving discounts on food/drink:

When I was an LEO, it was common practice for most eateries in town to provide free or discounted drinks/meals to LEOs. The late night convenience stores did it in hopes of luring officers inside their businesses during times when potentials for armed robberies were greatest. Restaurants did it in acknowledgement of the generally low wages paid to officers (In 2004, I made $7.54/hr to wear a vest, gun, and badge.). I partook of free coffee and sodas, as well as discounted meals. We all did. But when taking a meal break at a restaurant that gave a discount to LEOs, I always left a tip equal to, or greater than, the discount I was provided. Regardless of discounts or favors, I know of no instance when businesses ever lacked in coverage or response. - JR

Not ethical for county or city employees to get a discount from a business? If that's what people want they need to realize that it wouldn't just apply to law enforcement if the law is applied evenly. If those discounts aren't ethical then businesses that give discounts to teachers would also need to stop, unless the teacher is from a private school. Restaurants often give free meals to bus drivers when they bring a group in; that would have to stop if it's a public school bus. What about restaurants that give food and coffee to linemen working long hours restoring power after a disaster if the utility is owned by a government? Are you breaking the law giving a Christmas gift to your municipal sanitation worker? - BT

Alas, in Alabama we need to be more concerned over what Drummond Coal and similar businesses are giving our elected state representatives.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Readers Write on Mayor/Tourism/Colbert Ethics

Readers regularly write us on various topics. First, a letter of praise for Mayor Holt:

Dear Sholanda,

At a recent Florence City Council meeting, several citizens voiced concern about the Animal Shelter. Some of the remarks were critical of Mayor Holt. That criticism is misdirected. Mayor Holt is working very hard on behalf of improvements at the current shelter, including being a volunteer. He has also been a staunch supporter of the new shelter. He is committed to the best possible care for the shelter animals. He inherited a director from the previous administration and is aware that changes need to occur. Let’s give him some time to do so. Thanks, 

Dog lover 

Next a letter asking if there is a "Canadian Conspiracy" afoot concerning the Handy Fest:

Is the City of Florence and The Shoals Tourism Board keeping it a secret this year? Q107 never mentioned the traditional kick-off with the Midnighters at Wilson Park once all week. Schedules and locations of performers are impossible to find. Mention of the festival in the TD has been minimal as well. What's up?

Finally, a letter concerning law enforcement ethics violation in Colbert County:

I voted for Phil Andrews for Colbert County sheriff four years ago and am unsure of how I will vote this year. I've been trying to keep up with various claims and Mr. Andrews mentions it's an ethics violation for deputies to receive free fountain drinks from Love's but he's going to give out free pistol permits to veterans. What's the difference?


We'll attempt to answer our reader's question concerning ethics violations. The difference would be that the military veterans are not (supposedly) county officials and would not have any influence on Officer Andrews' career, so there is no inference of attempting to receive special treatment.

However, the soft drinks in question cost mere pennies. A gift has to be valued at a certain amount to be considered unethical; therefore, we don't think a soft drink costing Love's around two cents qualifies in the unethical gift category. 

We will also ask if Muscle Shoals police officers partake of free and half price meals at eateries within that city's police jurisdiction? Comments most welcome!

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Was Larimore Home Fire ARSON?!!!

The first fire at the historic T. B. Larimore home occurred July 8th. Little damage was reported. Then on the night of July 19th, a second fire heavily damaged the structure located just off Cox Creek Parkway. Who would have wanted to torch the home that had stood for a century and a half?

Local news reports indicate that the Florence fire marshal and insurance investigators are looking into the Thursday night fire. It shouldn't be difficult to determine the cause.

Determining the person responsible for the fire may prove more difficult, but someone surely knows something if it was deliberately set. The crime of arson is usually perpetrated by a male. Sometimes he simply likes fires, but there's a good possibility that these two conflagrations were brought about by someone with a grudge against Mars Hill Bible School which owns the home. 

If it was a firebug, he's enjoying this publicity. If it was a sick and vindictive person who set out for revenge, then he has what he wants and doesn't wish to see publicity that might lead to him. We're hoping these fires generate enough publicity to bring this sicko to justice. Then we're hoping justice is swift and brutal. 

Unfortunately, it would seem the Larimore fire doesn't qualify as First Degree Arson, but only Second Degree. The punishment is two to 20 years in prison. No deals, no mercy, a straight 20 years seems appropriate. That would mean no Correctional Incentive Time, and parole would be doubtful.

To the arsonist we say: How does it feel to be looking at 20 years in the state prison system? If you're a young man, how will it feel to see not only your name, but your parents' names as well published in local news accounts? Think about it every day until you're caught.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Let's Have a Prom at the Brewery!

There's going to be a "mom prom" promoting pre-natal health, and it's going to be held at a brewery. Yes, really!

We see many events held at Singin' River Brewery, and many seem to fit right in. We'll let you think about that one. Now a group which is presumably dedicated to pre-natal health for rural mothers is holding a "mom prom" at the brewery. 

No one here has a medical degree, not even one courtesy of an ink jet printer, but isn't a basic tenet of good pre-natal health abstention from alcohol? Tune in next week when we'll have a car show at Joe's Chop Shop...


Still on the run are George Weakley Rhodes and Troy Eugene Dawson. It's just a matter of time until these two men are apprehended. Rhodes is extremely dangerous and has a record of physically attacking women. Let's get them back in jail sooner rather than later.

There's a small reward for each of these men via Crimestoppers. Call (256) 386-8685.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

More on Tax Vote/Competent & Honest Attorneys

Live within the Muscle Shoals school jurisdiction? How will you vote on a 5 mill added tax? Everyone with whom we've spoken has said they will vote "no." They've also added some choice words about the financial abilities of school superintendent Brian Lindsay. Here's some interesting data:


Now, let's return to the saga of Timothy Vincent Murphy, ruled to have received an unfair trial in Lauderdale County. A recent article in the TimesDaily didn't mention the man behind the legal wranglings which sought justice for Murphy. Here's a press release:

On July 13, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals unanimously reversed the conviction of Timothy Murphy, who had been convicted of one count of attempted murder by a Lauderdale County jury in April 2017.  In the brief he submitted to the Court of Criminal Appeals, Mr. Murphy's appellate attorney, W. Brent Woodall, argued that the trial court had committed error by not granting Murphy, who was an indigent defendant, the funds he needed to hire a psychiatrist to perform an independent analysis of his mental state at the time of the offense.  During the trial, the State presented testimony from a psychiatrist regarding Mr. Murphy's mental state at the time of the offense.  Because the circuit court had denied Mr. Murphy's request for funds to hire an independent psychiatrist, the defense was unable to adequately counter the state's case.     

Mr. Woodall said, "To say the least, I am very pleased with this outcome.  The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals correctly held that Mr. Murphy was entitled to the funds he needed to adequately prepare a defense by utilizing an independent psychiatrist.  In order to be able to effectively fight against the possibility of a criminal conviction, a defendant needs at his disposal the same tools possessed by the state.  Thankfully, the Court of Criminal Appeals recognized and corrected the wrong that occurred when Mr. Murphy was forced to combat the state on an unequal footing."   

It is not known at this time whether Mr. Murphy will be re-tried and, if so, when the re-trial will occur.

Everyone deserves a fair trial, even mass murderers. Surely a person with mental problems, no matter his crime, deserves fairness. Thank God for honest and competent attorneys in this area. We're glad to have W. Brent Woodall in the Shoals!


Most judges bend over backward to make sure none of their rulings will result in a verdict being overturned. Why didn't Ben Graves? 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

"Tuscumbria" Makes National News?

The Wartburg Watch is an online news magazine dedicated to following what it calls Christian trends. An article published today deals with sex offenders in prison re-entry programs and offers a thought provoking read on the subject. Specifically, the author, identified as "Dee," mentions Chester McKinney's outreach within the Tuscumbria police jurisdiction. In case you're wondering, the spelling is courtesy of Dee.

Here's the link: Difficulties with Re-Entry Programs

We've learned some interesting things from the article, including the fact that the SRP overseeing McKinney's project bans sex offenders. Now that's an amazing tidbit. Doc Larry and our Johnny Mack should be chomping at the bit to quash this program and have a serious talk with the DOC should the Four-Way Motel project ever rear its pallet shaped head again.


Do we agree with the entire article? No. 

Dee states that watching child pornography is as serious as actually sexually molesting a child since it encourages children to be raped to produce more porn. That's certainly partially true, but not in every case.

Imagine that you're leaving a Walmart restroom just as police arrive to announce that Pete Wesson (who always claimed that he really only wanted to watch adult porn) had planted cameras in the stalls. Yes, you had been filmed while in the midst of a bodily function. Are you as mad as Peter Finch? Sure. Were you physically hurt by this? No. Were you traumatized for life by this? We're going to guess not.

So, no, not all child porn hurts the subject who may not ever be aware that he or she was videoed while urinating, bathing, or even simply changing clothes in a store dressing room. Is it wrong? Definitely. Are the men who engage in watching this sick? Most definitely. If police receive a call of a deviant filming children in a restroom at the same time they're notified of a child being attacked, which call should they answer first?


Now some comments about phone policy, or at least events, at the Colbert County Sheriff's office. Dee says she spoke with "a woman" there who refused to give her name. Did Dee ask the woman's title? An experienced writer would have. 

Dee did ask the woman's name, and the woman refused to provide it. Most public offices, especially in law enforcement or other areas which regularly encounter those who may be just slightly ticked off, not to mention mentally unhinged, have a policy of not giving out last names. In this way, Jack the Ripper won't be visiting Annie Mae's home that night to teach her a thing or two about arresting his innocent stepson who didn't manage to kill anyone even though he was certainly giving it the old college try when he fired that shotgun through a glass door.  Nevertheless, the woman who answered the phone should have given her first name. 

We don't know if this person made up her own policy or if her superiors had instructed her to refuse to identify herself. Let's hope each Colbert County Department takes this under review.

Next, the woman gave an official statement to a national publication. Was she speaking for the sheriff's department? Was she speaking for the Colbert County Commission that oversees the sheriff's department? Speaking of the commission, it needs to come up with some written guidelines concerning public statements. Either that or Colbert County and Tuscumbria will continue to look just a little foolish.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

"TotallyDecatur" Strikes Again

Sunday's TimesDaily featured runoff endorsements in the editorial section. The interesting thing was that the heading stated the endorsements came from the Decatur Daily. This was finally corrected around midday on Tuesday. And some people wonder why other online news sites are so popular...


It's now official that Will Ainsworth won the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor. Ainsworth is notorious for suggesting that we arm school teachers. Probably Sunday school teachers as well. Look for a barrage of badmouthing Sen. Doug Jones on every issue. On the bright side, no one who appreciated Ed Henry's antics will be missing them with Ainsworth around.


Need a break from all the political rhetoric. Here's something:

Too pun impaired to enjoy that one? Here's an amazing pic from a Western Lauderdale reader:

That's a recent storm on Pickwick Lake. Amazing...

Monday, July 16, 2018

The 67%/Advertising

From a reader in Muscle Shoals:

It may be a little confusing to some.

Think of it like this...

There is a tax.

MSC decided to add a "city appropriation" that the citizens voted on back in the 70s that made it a new tax of 7.5 (mills).

It was renewed in April 2015 at the rate of 7.5. That is the portion of the total 16.5 that you are referring to.

Lindsey was very crafty in that he told the city council MSC has the lowest advalorem tax of all the schools in Colbert County at 7.5. The city council was arguing with some people that it was correct at 7.5 because Lindsey said so. It took Waylon Huguley taking the breakdown of the tax records from Oswalt to convince them that once again Lindsey had misled an elected body.

So, while Lindsey is correct in the 7.5 tax is a stand alone tax dependent on the citizens renewing it every 20 or so years, he lied by omission.

Clear as mud yet?

ha ha. We kinda liked him saying it was for the 7.5 special tax with the 5 mil increase cause that clearly is a 67% increase in that tax.

Nothing like giving the opposition plenty to work with huh?


We've been asked if we are now endorsing Colbert County Sheriff Frank Williamson for re-election. We have not endorsed either candidate at this time. Rest assured that our ad for Sheriff Williamson is a PAID ad. We will be happy to sell sidebar ads and the bottom banner to any candidates, including Phil Andrews. 

Drop us an inquiry. Our sidebar ads are a great bargain, and we reach at least 3,000 individuals each day.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Two Appeals: Who Wins? Who Loses?

Anyone convicted of a crime is allowed to appeal. That's our legal system, and it's a good one. It prevents defendants from being railroaded in a county where these things happen with great regularity. It can also be used to overturn perfectly legitimate convictions on a minute technicality. Sometimes the criminal wins...but more often the innocent lose. Let's look at two recent winning appeals.

First, Jason DeWayne Green in Franklin County. Here's a Facebook post from a member of his victim's family:

I think I'll kill someone. I'll do it in Russellville, AL so I'll do minimal prison time even if I'm sentenced to 19 years. That's apparently how things work. My cousin Shay Ledlow was shot and killed by her boyfriend. He shot her, then put a lit cigarette in her right hand, put the gun in her left hand and called 911 to report a suicide. First of all Shay was right handed, second of all the gun barrel was too long for her to have turned it on herself. He was free for a very long time then he was sentenced to 19 years. (Which is not nearly enough for a murder to begin with). 

Now he's out of prison to get a new trial! Who does that? So if you disagree, you just get new lawyers and get out of jail? What is this Monopoly, get out of jail free card? He got out in October for a new trial to be held in March, that was put off until August and now again until December. So let me make sure I get this...You can kill someone in cold blood, be prosecuted, sentenced even though that isn't a long enough sentence, then get OUT of prison indefinitely while you await another trial that keeps being put off to whenever! 

Jason Dewayne Green is a monster who should NOT be walking the streets! He should rot in prison for what he did. He should at MINIMUM be in prison for as long as Shay Nicole Ledlow is dead! Russellville has some crooked politics if you ask me and Green is paying someone to keep him out of prison or postpone that trial. This calls for public outcry. Something stinks...maybe rotten government and murderers walking free! Feel free to share. I'm not ashamed to tell the truth!

We were totally surprised by the verdict being overturned on what we consider a specious argument. Yet it happened. Yes, Green is free, but we hope it's only temporary. Franklin County juries are notoriously hard to predict, so no one should count on any particular verdict until the jury foreman reads it in court.

Next, we have Lauderdale County and the attempted murder conviction of Timothy Vincent Murphy. Murphy had no criminal record, but obviously had mental problems or he wouldn't have been the object of a commitment in the first place. We believe he belongs in a place where he'll receive mental health treatment...and the state prison system certainly isn't that place.

A state appeals court says Lauderdale County Circuit Judge Ben Graves committed a serious error in not allowing a private mental evaluation of Murphy. Why Graves would have ruled this way is a mystery, but as we pointed out during the campaign for this office, his only experience in a courtroom seems to have been in Florence Municipal Court. 

On that note, how much is an appeal of this appeal and a retrial (if it comes) costing the citizens of Lauderdale County? How many more errors will be made and ultimately appealed? 

Oh, well, it's only (our) money...

Saturday, July 14, 2018

TAX INCREASE: The Two Year Shuffle



NOW - think about this.

APRIL 2015 -  The citizens renewed the 7.5 mil Advalorem Muscle Shoals tax that the citizens do get to vote on.

By December of 2017, Brian Lindsey is back to the City Council asking for the citizens to give even more money.

Did Lindsey just discover between April 2015 and December 2017 that he had screwed up giving out $90,000.00+ for the athletic director coach, $70,000.00 salaries for assistants, and a 10 million dollar sports complex? Not to mention the other high salaries for administrators, travel, coaches that never step foot in a classroom except to recruit players, and the list goes on and on.

Brian Lindsey's LACK OF PLANNING and ABILITY does not constitute MORE TAXES PAID BY CITIZENS as our problem. The problem isn't money -it is ADMINISTRATORS and the SCHOOL BOARD.

Will Lindsey be back in our pockets in 2020?

Is this the pattern of this group of struggling administrators that obviously can't manage a school system?


Friday, July 13, 2018

New Tourism Board?

So, the TD (Totally Decatur) reports that our incredible Florence Tourism Board is pleased with a marketing campaign that Rob “I’d rather be in Nashville” Carnegie has now bought (too bad they didn’t report how much this campaign is costing $$ Cha-ching) to promote Florence.  With a tiny 1% increase in tourism over last year, I would be ashamed to admit I was pleased with anything Canada Rob is doing. Well, unless you are interested in his music career in Nashville which from his Facebook page is booming, as it should be.  He spends more time in the Music City than he does in Florence. Alabama.  

One of Carnegie's Most Innovative Promotions

But back to our top-notch tourism board.  I am so glad that we have marketing gurus like Larry McCoy inserting his valuable tourism and marketing experience into the decisions made about how to advertise Florence Tourism.  It appears he doesn’t approve of billboards because he doesn't know who is seeing them. I am guessing he can’t see billboards with those big bushy eyebrows covering his eyes. 

From my understanding, the 5 members of the Florence Lauderdale tourism board is made up of 2 members appointed by the Lauderdale County Commission and 2 members appointed by Dick Jordan, oh excuse me, the Florence City Council. Then the final spot is a joint appointment meaning that the city and county have to come to a mutual agreement of who to appoint.  I bet that's an interesting conversation.  Call your commissioner or your council person and demand that we have NEW board members with tourism related experience.  Maybe EVEN a HOTEL representative.  Just the fact that they actually declare they are pleased should be an immediate dismissal of their board appointment.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Now on Netflix: Roy Moore Takes on Sacha Baron Cohen

As Roy Moore often says, "I'm broke again. Whom can I sue to get the suckers to donate their hard earned money?" Apparently it may now be British comic Sacha Baron Cohen, supposedly a favorite of the late Queen Mum. We're not too sure about that last statement. If true, she would be the first female to enjoy his humor.

But make no mistake, Baron Cohen has pulled pranks on Alabamians before and has been sued before. We're at a loss as to whether Moore doesn't know the comic is Jewish or not. Baron Cohen's trademark is making fun of his own religion, but he does, like Roy Moore, take it seriously. He even stipulated his fiancee' Isla Fisher had to convert before their marriage. 

That probably makes scant difference to Moore. If he says he is defending God's chosen people, his core followers will flock to him with pieces of green paper. Then Moore can dine high on a non-Kosher hog until his next quest comes into view.

He was almost our senator, folks. Narrow escape wasn't it? 


About that 67%:

A group has been formed to lobby against the 5 mill added property tax for Muscle Shoals. The opponents of this tax say that it is an increase of 67%. Others say this is malarkey. Who's right?

According to tax records, Muscle Shoals residents pay 16 cents on every 1K of property owned. This referendum would raise that to 21 cents. By our calculations that's a little over 31%. That's quite a raise, but still not 67%. 

Are we missing anything here? No matter, this is an unneeded tax and should be defeated.