Warm Southern Breeze

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Posts Tagged ‘AL’

Alabama As A Third-World Nation: How True Is It?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, October 26, 2014

In so many comparative rankings for quality of life within our 50 United States, Alabama and Mississippi seem in a dead heat for last place. In a veritable “Race To The Bottom,” Alabama and Mississippi scrap over being in last place. In fact, it’s been a long-standing joke – with the sad, bitter sting of truth – that Alabama’s State Motto is not Audemus jura nostra defendere,” which has been translated as: “We Dare Maintain Our Rights” or “We Dare Defend Our Rights,” but rather “Thank God For Mississippi.”

And just so we’re singing on the same sheet of music, and on the same verse, a “Third World Nation” is one which were at one time colonies “formally lead by imperialism. The end of imperialism forced these colonies to survive on their own. With lack of support, these colonies started to develop characteristics such as poverty, high birthrates and economic dependence on other countries. The term was then affiliated to the economic situation of these former colonies and not their social alliances to either capitalism or communism.” In a more modern sense however, a “Third World Nation,” is more readily thought of as being one of several “underdeveloped nations of the world, especially those with widespread poverty.” And it is in that sense to which I refer to Alabama as “a Third World Nation.”

In essence, what that term refers to is Quality Of Life. And, there are many aspects of life that can be measured, such as rates and incidences of crime, employment/unemployment, education, health/sickness/disease, responsive & efficient government, availability of clean water, sewerage, utilities such as electricity, natural gas, supporting infrastructure to deliver those utilities, which includes transportation, roads, highways, airports, railways, and access to the same. There is much more to life than the mere availability of food, clothing and shelter. For example, who would want to eat raw meat, wear bearskins, and live in a cave? In context, those three items are certainly fulfilled. And if that’s all there is, then all is well… right?

Demonstrating that, again, there is MUCH MORE to life than the mere availability of food, clothing and shelter.

Consider, for example, Public Health.

Rates of Obesity, and Obesity-related Diseases (also called chronic, or long-term problems) such as Diabetes, Hypertension (High Blood Pressure), Stroke, and certain types of Cancer, in Mississippi and Alabama are among the highest in our United States. While Obesity is quickly becoming an epidemic of significant national proportions, it is particularly problematic in the SouthEast, and in Mississippi and Alabama, especially. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “More than one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults are obese.

To be certain, Obesity and Overweight are two DIFFERENT terms, though they describe the extent of the condition. Obesity is having a Body Mass Index of 30, or greater, while Overweight is having a Body Mass Index of 25 or greater.

What is Body Mass Index?

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number calculated from a person’s weight and height, which is a fairly reliable indicator of body fatness for most people. BMI does not

Read the rest of this entry »

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Gone With The Wind: How Alabama’s State Legislature Blew Away $200 Million Of Industrial Development And Jobs

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, October 15, 2014

labama Governor Robert Bentley signed legislation PROHIBITING two out-of-state businesses from investing in Alabama & constructing business operations, and hiring. Total Cost of Loss = $200+ Million

By his refusal to act, Alabama Republican Governor Robert Bentley allowed legislation to pass which PROHIBITED TWO Out-of-State Businesses from Investing, Conducting Business Operations, and Hiring in Alabama.
Total Cost Loss To Alabama = $200+ Million

Governor Bentley Refused To Reign In Unfounded Fear Mongering By GOP Dominated Legislature

Fueled by unfounded, unscientific constituency fears, Legislators in Alabama’s state Senate and House of Representatives recently authored restrictive regulatory legislation which made it impossible for a Texas-based business to expand operations in Alabama. Not counting the jobs and salaries lost, the investment cost of the loss to Alabama exceeds $200 Million.

Specifically, Pioneer Green Energy, 802 Lavaca St, Austin, TX 78701, (512) 351-3363, planned to spend over $200 Million to build two facilities in Cherokee and Etowah counties to generate electricity, and hire local people to operate and maintain the facilities.

In comparison, Remington Arms – the firearms manufacturer which recently announced relocation to Huntsville, Alabama – will be spending $110 Million, with $38 Million in tax incentives provided by the state.

Pioneer was set to construct 30-45 wind-driven turbines (electricity-generating windmills) in Etowah county at a cost of $160 Million in their NoccalulaWind project. In nearby Cherokee county, they were set to construct 7-8 such windmills, at a cost of $40 Million in their ShinboneWind project.

A series of bills which originated in Alabama’s state Senate, and House of Representatives was effectively, the death knell for the projects.

Alabama State Senator Phil Williams, 10th Senate District, Floor of Alabama State Senate

State Senator Phil Williams, a Republican in Alabama’s 10th Senate District, speaks from the Floor of Alabama State Senate. He authored SB 402 & SB 403, prohibitive regulatory legislation which hamstrung $200 Million in Industrial Development and Jobs.

As reported by Conservation Alabama, April 10, 2014, in a column entitled “2014 Legislative Session recap, “Two local bills opposed by Conservation Alabama did pass. Senate Bills 402 and 403 requiring strict regulations for wind energy conversion systems in Etowah and Cherokee counties passed, eliminating any real chance of wind energy in those two counties. After these local bills passed it was thought that Senate Bill 12, a statewide bill to regulate wind energy conversion systems, would make it through with language that superseded the two local bills and included more reasonable and agreed upon language between the two sides. However, proponents of the bill could not get on the same page. Last minute changes to the bill created additional controversy, and the bill ultimately failed to pass in the House and consequently the two local bills will become law.”

Alabama state Senate Bills 402 and 403  were authored and sponsored by Senator Phil Williams, a Republican whom represents Alabama’s 10th Senate District, which includes Etowah and Cherokee counties. By profession, Senator Williams is a lawyer, and in part, he wrote this about himself on his legislative profile/biography webpage: “Phil Williams is the managing member of Williams & Associates, LLC, a law firm based in Gadsden, AL.” His campaign website states this, “His legal focus is largely in the areas of insurance, municipal and corporate defense.” (SB402 may be found online here -or downloaded from this site AL SB402-int- & SB 403 may be found online here  -or downloaded from this site AL SB403-int-)

Here’s Part One of the Grand Hypocrisy. The Alabama GOP website states this about Senator Williams: “One of the most promising freshman Senators in Montgomery is Phil Williams of Rainbow City. He is the proud sponsor of the Alabama Jobs Creation and Retention Act, which provides tax incentives to new or existing businesses that engage in industrial projects. Sen. Williams said, “This Act will help make Alabama a center of gravity for new and existing business growth, and is another example of our Republican-led senate following through on our campaign promises.””

Why would a State Senator whom sponsored the “Alabama Jobs Creation and Retention Act” author legislation that FORBADE the creation of jobs?

Alabama State Senator Phil Williams (R), authored regulatory legislation which hampered $200 Million Industrial Development in Alabama, and cost jobs.

Alabama State Senator Phil Williams (R), in green tie & suit, authored regulatory legislation which lost $200 Million Industrial Development in Alabama, and cost jobs.

According to an article in The Alabama Reporter written by Brandon Moseley, published 07 June 2013, Senator Williams, who hails from Rainbow City, is seeking a second term in office, and made this remark about his candidacy: “It has been a great honor to serve the people of Senate District 10 these past few years. We have accomplished so much of what the people in our communities said they wanted, and my intent is to continue the fight for conservative values and finish what we’ve started.”

Readers may recall that Etowah county is home to disgraced former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore – sometimes popularly known as “The Ten Commandments Judge” – who was removed from office following a hearing November 12, 2003 by a unanimous vote of the Alabama Court of the Judiciary. Since then, he campaigned for the same office – State Supreme Court Chief Justice – and was elected November 6, 2012.

It certainly seem that folks in Alabama Politics – that’d be the GOP/Republicans – are largely backwards, hypocritical, narrow minded fear mongers who appeal to their equally “largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command” constituency.

Because while on one hand, they decry “regulation” and “excessive” regulation which they claim constrains business, and free enterprise – and therefore jobs – in the state, they simultaneously enact the very legislation they decry.

It’s called HYPOCRISY. And to be certain, it’s simply defined as “the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.”

This is a HUGE case in point, that an out-of-state business was prepared to construct and expand business operations in Alabama – from the ground, up. Had leased land, obtained easements, and every other necessary preliminary item to conduct business operations… including hiring professional services in Alabama to prepare for business operations.

BUT!

Wouldn’t you know it? The GOP-dominated Alabama State Legislature (House & Senate) enacted legislation, which passed without Governor Bentley’s signature, which PROHIBITED the businesses from even getting the first bulldozer out to clear land. Seriously.

Think I’m joking, exaggerating, or kidding?

Read on.

Oh… and be sure to thank them in November.

—-

Alabama regs too strict for turbines, says lawyer for wind energy developer

By William Thornton, wthornton@al.com
Twitter: WThorn7
on August 20, 2014 at 11:16 AM, updated August 20, 2014 at 12:03 PM

GADSDEN, Alabama — The lawyer for a Texas-based company abandoning plans for two windmill farms in northeast Alabama said today that recently approved state regulations on wind energy led to the decision.

Charlie Stewart, attorney for Pioneer Green Energy, said the company no longer has plans to develop two wind energy farms in Cherokee and Etowah counties. Groups opposing the development announced yesterday they had received word Pioneer Green was relinquishing land leases for the projects.

Pioneer Green Energy announced last year it planned to develop wind energy projects in the two counties, and said land leases had already been secured. Five Cherokee County residents filed suit in an attempt to stop the development, and a group of Etowah County residents also filed suit.

Pioneer Green planned a $40 million project with seven to eight turbines in Cherokee County. The larger Etowah County project would have had 30 to 45 turbines costing $160 million.

Stewart said the company was ready to begin construction when the lawsuits were filed, and the legislation passed earlier this year, which established setback and noise standards.

That bill required the state’s Public Safety Commission to oversee wind farms, mandated that noise from the turbines not exceed an average of 50 decibels, and laid out a setback of five times the height of the tower from the base to the nearest property line. Last year, a company official said the legislation was too restrictive by making the property line the threshold and not the nearest residence or structure.

Stewart said much of the opposition was fueled by “hysteria.”

“The bill was basically Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama Governor Bentley Broke 20 Promises From 2010 Campaign

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, October 13, 2014

Broken Bentley Campaign Promises2sB

Robert Bentley, MD will say ANYTHING to get elected. In fact, he did. Is there any reason to believe he won’t do it again? He had no intention of fulfilling any of those promises. And that, my friends, is the definition of a sociopathic liar.
Sociopathic Liars are defined as someone who lies continuously in an attempt to get their own way, without showing care or concern for others. These individuals are goal-oriented. Even though it might seem hard to believe, lying is focused – they are focused on getting their own way. Sociopaths don’t have a lot of respect or regard for the feelings and rights of others. They tend to be charismatic and charming, but they will use their exceptional social skills in a self-centered and manipulative manner.

Having met with Alabama Governor Bentley a couple times, I can attest that he came across to me as a “nice guy,” a decent human being.

However – and to be absolutely certain – when I refer to Robert Bentley, or Governor Bentley, I mean to refer to him as an elected political figure, nothing more. And in that sense, as a legislator from Tuscaloosa, he was an inept, do-nothing, milquetoast, mamby-pamby, clueless, bumbling, cowardly, lazy, yellow-bellied, gutless, craven, unimaginative, clueless, pedestrian, hackneyed, lame and feeble Representative.

As Governor, he has given Alabama all that, and more… in spades!

As an elected official, Governor Bentley is a liar, and there are LITERALLY 15-20 broken promises he made while in the 2010 campaign that were very likely the hopes upon which Alabamians hung their hat, and ideas for which they cast their vote. His Democratic contender – Ron Sparks – was a man who, as Secretary of Agriculture and Industries, had his finger on the economic pulse of the state of Alabama. Ron was the man whom opened doors of market opportunity for Alabama’s farmers to sell poultry in foreign markets. Ron regularly communicated with the captains of industry in Alabama, as well the numerous entrepreneurs, small businesses owners, and Mom & Pop shops, which are the lifeblood of any economy.

Bentley’s campaign is nothing more one Broken Promise after another. It is a history of lies, infidelity, and willful deception. To characterize his administration as duplicitous would be generously diplomatic. To say it has been treacherously fraudulent would be more accurate.

Here are what I consider the Top Ten Bentley Campaign Lies from 2010. Read the rest of this entry »

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“No, Dr. Bentley, we are in no way prepared for Ebola.”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, October 10, 2014

Pippa Abston, MD, PhD, is considered by many, to be the preeminent, board-certified general pediatric physician in the Tennessee Valley, and is author of the following commentary, written in response to a news item entitled “Ebola hasn’t surfaced in Alabama but state ready, Gov. Bentley says,” published October 08, 2014 at 9:03 AM, updated October 08, 2014 at 12:59 PM at http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2014/10/gov_robert_bentley_on_ebola_vi.html.

In his press conference, Governor Bentley said, “In the event that Ebola spreads to Alabama, we are ready and we are prepared to respond.”

Thursday, 9October2014, 6:18am

By Pippa Abston, MD, PhD

Governor of Alabama, Dr. Robert Bentley, MD makes a Press Conference Wednesday, 08October2014 to assert Alabama state readiness for Ebola virus.

Alabama Governor, Dr. Robert Bentley, MD (a retired dermatologist) holds a Press Conference Wednesday, 08 October 2014 purporting to assert state readiness for the Ebola virus.

No, Dr. Bentley, we are in no way prepared.

First and most seriously, people lack insurance or have high co-pays/ deductibles, so they will delay going to the doctor or ER and expose others in the meantime.

Second, our public health infrastructure is underfunded and understaffed.

A couple of years ago I let the local HD (Health Department) know about a new viral syndrome I was seeing, which needed Read the rest of this entry »

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Cullman Alabama Mother & Son Plead Guilty to Theft from Poverty Healthcare Program

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Cullman County Scum.

“Some folks just need killing.”

Either that, or chop off their hand, or foot.

This is OUTRAGEOUS!

Stealing from the poor!

This makes me LIVID!!

They’re both human ostomy bags.

Mother, son charged in federal health agency fraud; more than $100k used on items including adult website, fish finders

Kent Faulk | kfaulk@al.com By Kent Faulk | kfaulk@al.com
Follow on Twitter
on August 27, 2014 at 5:15 PM, updated August 27, 2014 at 5:16 PM

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – A mother and son from Cullman have been charged in a scheme to defraud federal health agencies and a nonprofit east Alabama health center of more than $100,000, which they used to buy personal items such as electronic fish finders, truck tires, cell phones and an adult website membership, federal prosecutors announced.

Sheila Osborne Parker and James Robert Parker were charged in separate documents today in U.S. District Court in Birmingham, according to a joint press release issued by U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard D. Schwein Jr., IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Veronica Hyman-Pillot, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Office of Inspector General, Atlanta Regional Office Special Agent in Charge Derrick Jackson.

AL.com and The Birmingham News recently reported that a federal grand jury has been investigating the financial dealings of the federally-funded Birmingham Health Care center, which at one time a pioneer in the care of the homeless in Birmingham, sources tell AL.com.

Sheila Parker, 59, faces six counts of wire fraud, two counts of bank fraud and two counts of failing to file federal income tax returns, according to the press release. James Parker, 33, faces five counts of wire fraud and two counts of failing to file income tax returns. The mother and son have both entered plea agreements with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Sheila Parker worked for Birmingham Health Care, a nonprofit organization in Birmingham intended to provide free or low-cost health care services to the homeless and to people living below poverty level in the metro area, according to the press release.

In 2008, BHC assumed responsibility for Read the rest of this entry »

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Record Breaking Alligator Caught in Alabama

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, August 17, 2014

Here’s how a record-breaking, 1,000-pound-plus gator was pulled from Alabama River

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

A monster alligator weighing 1011.5 pounds measuring 15 feet long is pictured in Thomaston, Alabama on Saturday, August 16, 2014. The gator was caught near Camden, Alabama, by Mandy Stokes along with her husband John Stokes, her brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his two teenage children, Savannah Jenkins, 16, and Parker Jenkins, 14, all of Thomaston, Alabama. (Photo by Sharon Steinmann/ssteinmann@al.com)

Gator15 Gator14 Gator13 Gator12 Gator11 Gator16 Gator17 Gator18 Gator19 Gator20 Gator21 Gator27 Gator26 Gator25 Gator24 Gator23 Gator22 Gator28 Gator29 Gator30 Gator31 Gator32 Gator33CAMDEN, Alabama – Mandy Stokes put her pearls on Friday night.

No, she wasn’t going out to dinner with the family.

She was going alligator hunting.

Ever since Keith Fancher and his crew pulled a 14-foot, 2-inch, 838-pound alligator from the Alabama River in 2011 to set the standard for the largest ever legally killed by an Alabama hunter, Stokes had jokingly told friends and family that if she was ever drawn for a tag, she would wear the necklace so she’d look good when being interviewed after breaking the record.

Stokes got her tag this year and the pearls still hung around her neck Saturday afternoon.

It was about 10 hours after she and husband John Stokes, brother-in-law Kevin Jenkins and his children Savannah, 16, and Parker, 14, brought a monster alligator to the check-in station at Roland Cooper State Park near Camden in Wilcox County.

Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Biologists had no trouble measuring the beast at 15 feet even, but they had to call for some relief when trying to weigh it.

The first attempt completely destroyed the winch assembly used to easily hoist most average gators. It was the same mechanism used to weigh the Fancher alligator.

Enlisting the assistance of a park backhoe to lift it, a WFF biologist officially called the weight at 1,011.5 pounds.

COMPARING IT TO OTHER BIG CATCHES

Those dimensions easily make the Stokes Gator the biggest ever killed in Alabama. Alabama does not have an official record-gator program, but its regulated hunts have only been underway for nine years, so records are easily accessed and current.

“Truthfully, after I saw the Fancher Gator, in my mind I was thinking there’s no way we can catch anything bigger than that,” Mandy Stokes said. “When I finally saw it the full-body mount at the Gee’s Bend Terminal, the main thing I remembered was the size of its feet. When I saw the size of the foot on this one, I knew it was a good one.”

Maybe the best one ever. An internet search suggests the Stokes Gator may be the largest American alligator ever legally killed by a hunter.

Just this June, Safari Club International declared a 14-foot, 8-inch, 880-pound alligator killed in Chalk Creek near Lufkin, Texas by Justin Wells of Bossier City, La., in 2007 as the new world record.

It’s not clear which metric – length, weight or a combination of both – SCI used to make its declaration.

A September 2013 story on Outdoor Life’s Website tells the tale of a 13-foot, 9-inch, 1,100-pound gator killed by Drew Baker in Arkansas. Baker’s gator is the Arkansas record, but the story makes no mention of it being in contention for world record status.

Stokes’ gator measured 70.5 inches around the stomach, 46 inches around the base of the tail and had a 16-inch snout measurement.

THE EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER OF THE CATCH

No matter by which standard alligators are measured, Mandy Stokes said Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News, End Of The Road | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Alabama Prison System Teetering on Federal Takover

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, August 7, 2014

Every single word in this OpEd is spot-on.

Alabama is on the verge of a complete takeover of it’s prison system. That is a VERY sad indictment, and fact. Further, most Alabamians are COMPLETELY unaware of the dangers the state faces.

Alabama is a state in crisis.

Fiscal crisis from a failure of long-term management, unwise, unsound policy, unnecessary prolonged and costly legal battles at the state and federal levels over inane laws which have had no positive effect upon the state, from policies and procedures which have only burdened the people, tax giveaways to corporations, funded corporate welfare, an inequitable personal income taxation system which has hampered and hamstrung state growth, and further placed the state’s citizens into poverty.

Face it folks… I don’t give a damn about what political colors you wear, or how or what you describe yourself as politically in Alabama… if everything were peaches and cream in the state, then why in the Hell is the state’s poverty level 18% – 4 percentage points ABOVE the national average?

Why is the state sick in their persons? Of all states, Alabama continually ranks high in rates of obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc., even among CHILDREN!

Why does the state have a high crime rate?

Why are Alabamians largely “largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command”?

WHY?

WHY?!?

WHY!?!

***
***

Why Alabama Cannot Wait on Prison Reform: Guest Opinion

Alabama State Senator Cam Ward (center), speaks  speaks to media members during a tour as Kim Thomas, Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Corrections (left) and warden Carter Davenport listen at the St. Clair Correctional Facility Fri., March 16, 2012 in Springville, Ala. (The Birmingham News/Bernard Troncale)

Alabama State Senator Cam Ward (center), speaks speaks to media members during a tour as Kim Thomas, Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Corrections (left) and Warden Carter Davenport listen at the St. Clair Correctional Facility Fri., March 16, 2012 in Springville, Ala. (The Birmingham News/Bernard Troncale)

Guest opinion By Alabama State Senator Cam Ward
August 06, 2014 at 9:00 AM, updated August 06, 2014 at 9:05 AM

By Cam Ward

Prisons are an issue that would never rank high on any list of priorities for the people of Alabama and understandably so.  With unemployment hovering near 7 percent and many schools in need of repair, people ask me why prison reform should be a major subject at this time. The answer is simple – because our failure to maintain a good corrections system is going to push over a fiscal cliff that we may never recover from.

For years as our corrections system became more crowded the political leadership in Montgomery turned their eyes to issues more palatable to the voters during election time. The general feeling for decades has been “let’s wait and deal with that when we have more money.”

As we waited our system grew to 192 percent capacity and despite this incarceration rate our state has the 8th highest violent crime rate in the country. Both of these statistics point to a failing system of corrections.

In addition to allowing for a broken system to continue down a path of inefficiency we have also created a fiscal nightmare of the likes our state has never seen before. While we spend Read the rest of this entry »

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*!* ATTENTION ALABAMA RESIDENTS *!*

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, June 14, 2014

ATTENTION ALABAMA RESIDENTS:

Please continue to fund out-of-state K-12 schools, and send Tennessee, Georgia & Florida kids to college by purchasing Tennessee, Georgia & Florida Lottery tickets.

• Today, in Tennessee, over 100,000 students benefit annually, and Republican Governor Bill Haslam signed a bill written by Republican TN legislators which will pay for 2 years of community/junior/technical college education for every Tennessee high school graduate.

• In Georgia, over 1,600,000 students have benefited from Georgia Lottery.

• In Florida, over 650,000 students have received over $4,290,000,000 since 1986 to attend higher education.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Why did Parker Griffith vote AGAINST the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, June 6, 2014

English: , member of the United States House o...

Official portrait, Parker Griffith, MD as freshman member of the United States House of Representatives, Alabama 5th Congressional District.

53rd Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, Jr., MD - campaign photograph

Campaign photograph – 53rd Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, Jr., MD

As a politician, Parker Griffith has been described as “maverick.”

To describe it diplomatically, he has been “somewhat unpredictable.”

To be blunt, he’s a loose cannon.

His most recent political aspiration includes 2014 candidacy for Alabama governor under the Democratic ticket, challenging first term Republican Robert Bentley (described as “wildly popular”), whom is similarly a retired physician, and former Alabama State House Representative from Tuscaloosa, whom has publicly announced his opinion that he will be re-elected during a tour of Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women, where sexual assaults, and abuses of innumerable kind have become so rampantly commonplace that Alabama’s prison system is verging upon federal takeover.

It was during his tour of that prison that “Our kindly country doctor governor toured Tutwiler in early March and quietly said, “we are probably going to have to build some new prisons in my second term.””

Griffith’s greatest obstacle is his past. More specifically, the greatest mountain he must conquer is his decision to switch parties (from Democrat to Republican) while in his first term in Congress, which abruptly ended his political aspirations.

The nightmare of his actions still haunts Alabama voters, many whom have not forgotten – including those in his hometown, Huntsville & Madison County. Like the ghastly spectre in Charles Dickens’ classic fiction “A Christmas Carol,” Parker Griffith must come face-to-face with the Ghost of Election Past, and Bentley with the Ghost of Alabama Yet to Come.

And in this real-life play, Bob Cratchit is played by the people, while 18.1% of the state’s population (the state poverty rate) are cast as the sickly child, Tiny Tim. They and others are the ones whom are denied by the Scrooge, played by Governor Bentley and Republican-dominated state legislature.

In reality, Griffith and Bentley play dual roles in this real-life political /social /medical /economic drama.

Charles Dickens circa 1850: he ‘kept on going by taking on too much’. Photograph: Herbert Watkins

Is there salvation for Griffith?

Will Bentley expand Medicaid?

Can anyone really help the citizens of Alabama?

Tune in next time! when we hear _?_ say…

Griffith’s last foray into politics – as Representative for Alabama’s 5th Congressional District – did not bode well, for after the first full year of a two-year term, he announced he was changing political party affiliation, for which he was resoundingly criticized at home by his constituency, in the press for his actions, and then subsequently resoundingly defeated by GOP challenger “Mo” Brooks in the 2010 Republican primary.

When he represented Alabama’s 5th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives, Parker Griffith voted against Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama Teen Pleads Guilty to Racist High School Bomb Threat

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, May 2, 2014

How did all this unfold?

A teacher found a notebook left behind by the teen, in which he had written a detailed plot for bombing the school, and named students who he would kill.

“… apparently, not one faculty member or administrator at the racially mixed school intervened in the blatantly racist behavior until early January, when a teacher found one of Shrout’s notebooks left behind in a classroom. In it, the teacher discovered detailed plans for mass murder.

“Shrout allegedly named and targeted five black students and a black teacher for serious harm in a series of bomb attacks, using improvised hand grenades that authorities say he was assembling in his military family’s home. A white classmate, who Shrout suspected of being gay, was also on the alleged hit list.

“The authorities were alerted to the journal and Shrout was arrested and charged with felony attempted assault. “By his own admission, he is a white supremacist, but we haven’t been able to link him to any specific organization or any organization to him,” Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor told the Intelligence Report in an interview about Shrout and his plans, which Shrout had “obviously put a lot of thought into.”

“When sheriff’s investigators searched the teenager’s home they discovered a couple of dozen small tobacco cans and two larger metal containers marked “Fat Boy” and “Little Man.” The names are apparent references to the code names “Fat Man” and “Little Boy” used for the atomic bombs dropped on Japan by the United States during World War II. All of the containers were filled with pellets and had holes drilled in them. Sheriff Taylor said other ingredients needed to complete the devices, such as black powder and fuses, were not found. Read the rest of this entry »

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No More Alcohol in Gasoline?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, March 17, 2014

Recently, I received an email message from a friend, one who is highly intelligent, and who has a phenomenal diversity of life experiences. The item had a video to a Faux News video segment, which is included in this post, at the conclusion.

My response to the half-truthed item follows.

Here’s hoping you and others find it informative, and helpful.

While I have neither been the type to proclaim THE SKY IS FALLING! THE SKY IS FALLING! nor believe there is conspiracy against me, nor the paranoid type that imagines “the government” is out to get me (and therefore neither view nor read Fox News), I do think there is some credence to the item. (Of course, a “Snopes check” shows a mix of half-truths. But, if it ain’t all true, it ain’t true – kinda’ like the gas, you know.) More details on that follow.

In a story published published Saturday, February 1st, 2014, the Chattanooga Times-Free Press wrote how some motorists in that area are preferring 100% pure gasoline over the 10% Ethanol blend. (I happened to read that story at the time it was published.)
http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2014/feb/01/some-motorists-want-their-gasoline-corn-free/

While residing there, I also noticed the same, and noticed that the price for 100% pure gasoline is higher than for the 10% ethanol blend. One day, while pumping the 100% gasoline at a Chattanooga gas station, I happened to speak with a gent at the adjacent pump about the difference. He shared an observation with me which I thought quite interesting, and one which certainly seemed reasonable.

He said that in an “accidental” experiment, he purchased some 10% ethanol blended gasoline for use in his lawn mower. He then poured some of the 10% ethanol blended gas into a glass jar, and let it set out at least overnight (or a bit longer). He observed that it had become cloudy from the accumulation of humidity.

While I’ve never tried such an experiment, I do note that many years ago, on occasion, I would run my little carbureted Toyota’s gas tank empty, and would then fill it up with 1 gallon each of Methanol, 100LL, Toluene, Xylene and Methyl Ethyl Ketone. I did so for at least two reasons: 1.) to get any water in the fuel tank & system out, and; 2.) to “clean out” any deposits that may have formed in the fuel system.

Of course, Gasoline and Water are different for several reasons, not the least of which is that Read the rest of this entry »

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Dumb Dope Smugglers Lose Little Load

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, November 23, 2013

From the third episode of “dumberer & more dumberer” comes this asinine item.

Officials: Package at Daikin plant marijuana, not bomb

By Eric Fleischauer Staff Writer | Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2013 9:54 am

Authorities have determined a suspicious package attached to a rail car in Decatur was not a bomb but contained marijuana, Morgan County officials said.

The rail car contained toxic gas and was at the Daikin America plant on State Docks Road.

Investigators said they believe the marijuana had been on the rail car since it was in Mexico. They said the package was the size of a large telephone book and contained 1 to 2 kilograms of marijuana. They believe the rail car entered the United States in Brownsville, Texas.

The package was in the dome on top of the rail car. It was discovered when

Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama High School Basketball Coach Denies Wrongdoing: 17-year-old Student Sex all started with “sexting”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Brian Scott Keeton, age 38, taught Math & was a boys basketball coach at Vina High School, in Franklin County, Alabama. He was arrested for having sex with a 17-year-old female student. He denies the charges.

Brian Scott Keeton, age 38, taught Math & was a Boys Basketball coach at Vina High School, in Franklin County, Alabama. He was arrested for having sex with a 17-year-old female student. He denies the charges.

Enough already!

But do notice the punishment – 2 to 20 years in prison upon conviction of the Class B felony.

The Alabama Lunchroom Lady “Cougar” got six months in jail, and 5 years probation.

Reckon what this Basketballing Math Teacher will get?

Second Vina teacher arrested for alleged affair with student

Published 4:38pm Wednesday, November 13, 2013

VINA – The Vina High School boys basketball coach became the second faculty member from the school in less than a week to be arrested for an alleged sexual relationship with a student, officials said.

Brian Scott Keeton, 38, 73 Lost Creek Lane, Carbon Hill, was arrested Wednesday afternoon and charged with one count of being a school employee engaging in a sexual act with a student under the age of 19, which is a Class B felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison if convicted.

This arrest comes only five days after Vina physical education teacher Sonny Dewaine Tibbs, 35, of Hamilton, was arrested on Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama Lunchroom Lady Cops Plea: 46 year-old “cougar” pleads guilty to sex with high school student

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, November 13, 2013

At what point must we acknowledge that in many sex crimes cases, women are punished differently than men?

Six months in jail, to be followed by five years probation?

If that’s not a joke, I don’t know what is.

Is such different treatment not a violation of the United States Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause?

See Michelle Coker Taylor’s Arrest & Booking record with the Fayette County, Alabama Sheriff’s  here:
https://creator.zoho.com/sheriff3201/inmates-applicantion/record-print/Inmates_View/947281000000264007/

Michelle Coker Taylor, 46, pleaded guilty to having sex with a student while she worked in the cafeteria of Fayette County High School and began her six month stay in jail for that crime last week. (Fayette County Sheriff's Office)

Michelle Coker Taylor, 46, pleaded guilty to having sex with a student while she worked in the cafeteria of Fayette County High School and began her six month stay in jail for that crime last week. (Fayette County Sheriff’s Office)

Ex-Fayette school cafeteria worker pleads guilty to having sex with student

Michelle Coker Taylor to serve six months of 20-year term, then 5 years on probation

Former Fayette County school system employee Michelle Taylor has pleaded guilty to criminal charges for having sex with a student.

Published: Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at 3:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, November 4, 2013 at 11:50 p.m.

A former Fayette County school system employee has pleaded guilty to criminal charges of having sex with a student, according to a news release from Chris McCool, district attorney for the 24th Judicial Circuit District.

Michelle Coker Taylor, 46, was sentenced to Read the rest of this entry »

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Cullman Alabama Used Car Dealer Pleads Guilty: Cheated Active Duty National Guardsman, Violated Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, July 4, 2013

Reverend Carl Ralph Nuss, Cullman, Alabama, has plead GUILTY to violating Federal Law - Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

Reverend Carl Ralph Nuss, Cullman, Alabama, has plead GUILTY to violating Federal Law – Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

This is how he treats our troops?

I have nothing good to say about this, save that he plead guilty.

I hope the judge gives this criminal the maximum sentence.

And you know what else is REALLY sad?

Reverend Carl R. Nuss

Reverend Carl R. Nuss

Carl R. Nuss is a minister of the Gospel.

Apparently – and sadly so – he doesn’t know the Gospel too well.

Hopefully, this criminal and his criminal enterprise will soon be put out of business.

Cullman Car Dealer Pleads Guilty to Violating Legal Protections for Active-Duty Service Members

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 27, 2013

BIRMINGHAM – A Cullman used car dealer pleaded guilty today for violating federal protections for active-duty military service members by refusing to reduce the loan interest rate and repossessing the vehicle he sold to a man who was later deployed overseas with the Alabama National Guard, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard D. Schwein Jr.

CARL RALPH NUSS, 75, entered his guilty plea before U.S. Magistrate Judge Harwell G. Davis III to the two counts of the March indictment charging him with violating Read the rest of this entry »

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Black Journalist Confesses: “I’ve used the n-word.”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, June 30, 2013

This Op-Ed speaks volumes.

Read on.

Confession of a black journalist: Like Paula Deen, I’ve used the n-word (Opinion from Anthony Cook)

Anthony Cook, Huntsville Times Community News Director

Anthony Cook, Huntsville Times Community News Director

By Anthony Cook | ACook@al.com
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on June 25, 2013 at 8:18 AM, updated June 25, 2013 at 12:57 PM

When I first heard about the dust-up over food mogul Paula Deen saying the n-word, my first reaction was “Um … OK.”I considered it just that – a dust-up. Big deal.But when it was reported that her extremely popular cooking show was being dropped from the Food Network, my thoughts changed to: “This is a big deal.”I’m guilty of spending the occasional Saturday morning in front of the tube with my wife, watching Paula whip up some Southern comfort food.When I heard she’d used the n-word at some point in her life, I wondered how I’d view her the next time she was on TV, concocting something you could almost taste through the screen and telling us “This is so good, y’all.”

But, apparently that’s not gonna happen. Not only has Food Network dropped her show, but Smithfield Foods has dropped her as a spokeswoman, and QVC and Walmart are considering doing the same.

This writing isn’t a defense of Paula Deen. She’s a big girl. She can take care of herself. And those businesses that are dropping association with her are just that – businesses. They have to consider the bottom line, which can be greatly affected by blows to their image. They essentially have been left with no choice.

I began to see the hypocrisy of expecting white people to adhere to a standard that I was not upholding myself.

As a black man, this writing is my attempt to point out Read the rest of this entry »

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“Shadrack McGill.” Need I say more?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Shadrack McGill makes Alabama a laughingstock.

Or rather, it’s his wife who does so.

Of course, the state apparently don’t need that much help to appear as such, anyway.

FYI, the man in question Read the rest of this entry »

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Magic City Brewfest: Renewed excitement in 7th year with passage of Alabama’s Homebrew Law

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, June 2, 2013

Wonderful! Wonderful! Wonderful!

Moylan's Kilt Lifter is poured during the 2013 Magic City Brewfest, Friday, May 31, 2013. (Tamika Moore | tmoore@al.com)

Moylan’s Kilt Lifter is poured during the 2013 Magic City Brewfest, Friday, May 31, 2013. (Tamika Moore | tmoore@al.com)

Cheers to beers: Alabama raises a glass to home-brew, Brewfest and craft breweries

(Gallery by Tamika Moore | tmoore@al.com)

Kathryn Tuggle | ktuggle@al.com By Kathryn Tuggle | ktuggle@al.com
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on June 02, 2013 at 8:56 AM, updated June 02, 2013 at 9:39 AM

This weekend Birmingham played host to a sold-out Magic City Brewfest at Sloss Furnace, featuring more than 200 different beers from more than 70 craft brew­eries around the nation. Although 2013 marked the seventh annual Brewfest, it was the first since home­brew became legal in Alabama, thanks to legislation passed in May.

Because home-brewers in Alabama can now share recipes and bond over their successes and struggles, Brewfest has a renewed “electricity” in the air, said Gabe Harris, president of Free the Hops, the grassroots non­profit that worked to help pass the home­brew bill.

“It feels great to have home-brew legal in Alabama,” Harris said. “Every craft brewer at Brewfest started out as a home-brewer, and everyone is really excited to be here this year.”

Because craft brewers across the state feel passionately about spreading the home­brew “gospel,” the Home-brew Association set up a tent at Brewfest specifically to edu­cate people about the brewing process.

“We’ve had tons of peo­ple at the tent asking some really intelligent questions,” Harris said.

Spencer Overton, home­brew manager at Birming­ham brewery and bar Hop City, said Birmingham is now on the “cutting edge” of craft beer. Read the rest of this entry »

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