Connect with us

News

Santorum Rallies with Jefferson County GOP Candidates

Brandon Moseley

Published

on

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Thursday, October 9, former Senator Rick Santorum, (R-Pennsylvania), held a joint press conference with Congressional Candidate Gary Palmer (R) and Jefferson County Republican candidates seeking office in the November General Election.

Republican Sixth District Congressional Candidate Gary Palmer introduced Sen. Santorum.

Palmer said, “I have known Rick for a long time since he began his career in Congress.” “Rick is a native of Pennsylvania. Rick has been in our state several times and people love him here.”

Former Senator Santorum said, “We have a great slate of candidates here in Jefferson County and I would like to urge people to get out and support them.”

Santorum urged voters to support Gary Palmer. Santorum called Palmer a great leader and said that he admired and respected Palmer’s work at the Alabama Policy Institute. Santorum said that he endorsed Palmer in the GOP Primary. “I did not get involved in a lot of congressional races but this is a man that America needs.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Santorum said that Palmer has conservative principles and is an “Articulate voice for those principles.”

Santorum said that he had made several appearances in Alabama over the previous two days including an Alabama Republican Party event in Montgomery, a luncheon in Birmingham, and an event with Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange in Troy that morning. Sen. Santorum said that even though it was 8:00 am over 100 people in Troy came out that day for the breakfast event.

Sen. Santorum said that it is great that we have an urban are like this (Jefferson County) where Republicans are still competitive in elections for leadership. Santorum said that he had just visited Detroit. “If you want to see what liberal Democratic control of government is like go up to Detroit and spend a day or two. That is what you get when you elect people who do not understand the proper role of government.”

Santorum said that he hoped that everyone gets out and votes in the November election and casts a vote for these folks here behind me (the Jefferson County GOP candidates).

Public Service Announcement

The Alabama Political Reporter asked the group, “In the last 3 elections, Democrats crushed Republicans in Jefferson County races. Is there a danger in terms of economic development of Jefferson County becoming an isolated Democratic blue island in an increasingly Red state which is dominated by Republicans both in the congressional delegation and in the State house?

Gary Palmer said we have a very good Congressional delegation and we will work with anybody to do what is best for the state regardless of their political party.

Palmer said, “I think Jefferson County has turned the corner. The County Commission is doing an excellent job.”

Jefferson County Commissioner David Carrington (R) said, “Jefferson County is back. The one thing that Democrats and Republicans agree about is that Jefferson County needs more jobs.” Carrington said that according to the last census Jefferson County had grown by 3 percent; but it’s population of 25 to 45 year olds had decreased by 19 percent. That is the age where people are getting into their careers and starting families. Carrington said that you can’t be a great county if you can’t attract young working families. Jobs are Jefferson County’s number one focus.

Carrington said to expect a major announcement about new jobs in the next several weeks. Jefferson County has turned the corner. The City of Birmingham has turned the corner. We are working across party lines to do what is best for the people of Jefferson County.

Steven B. Ammons, the GOP candidate for Jefferson County Tax Collector, said that Jefferson County is on the move again and that Jefferson County has to have the revenue to continue that process. Ammons said that there are many properties being assessed improperly in Jefferson County and that needs to change. Some people are being assessed too high and some people are being assessed too low because they are friends with someone. “We have great opportunities in Jefferson County.” Ammons said that stronger leadership will make sure that we assess the properties properly.

Joel Blankenship, the GOP Candidate for Jefferson County Tax Assessor, said that he supports good government and responsible leadership. The government is for the people and we need people in office who can work for the people.

Sen. Santorum received the largest number of votes in Alabama during the 2012 Republican Presidential Primary.

Former Sen. Santorum said that while he is very much pro-business the Republican Party needs to be focusing it’s message on the American worker. Only about 10 percent of the electorate owns a business and half of those have five employees or less and think of themselves as workers. The Republican Party needs to be tailoring its message to the American worker. U.S. Senator Sessions (R from Alabama) gets that and Gary Palmer gets that. Much of the Republican Party in Washington does not, Santorum said.

Brandon Moseley is a senior reporter with eight and a half years at Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Facebook. Brandon is a native of Moody, Alabama, a graduate of Auburn University, and a seventh generation Alabamian.

Advertisement

National

USDA is seeking rural energy grant applications

The deadlines to apply for grants is Feb. 1, 2021, and March 31, 2021. Applications for loan guarantees are accepted year-round.

Brandon Moseley

Published

on

(STOCK PHOTO)

United States Department of Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand on Wednesday invited applications for loan guarantees and grants for renewable energy systems, and to make energy efficiency improvements, conduct energy audits and provide development assistance.

The funding is being provided through the USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program, which was created under the 2008 Farm Bill and reauthorized under the 2018 Farm Bill. This notice seeks applications for Fiscal Year 2021 funding.

The deadlines to apply for grants is Feb. 1, 2021, and March 31, 2021. Applications for loan guarantees are accepted year-round.

REAP helps agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs and consumption by purchasing and installing renewable energy systems and making energy efficiency improvements in their operations.

Eligible systems may derive energy from wind, solar, hydroelectric, ocean, hydrogen, geothermal or renewable biomass (including anaerobic digesters).

USDA encourages applications that will support recommendations made in the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to help improve life in rural America.

ADVERTISEMENT

Applicants are encouraged to consider projects that provide measurable results in helping rural communities build robust and sustainable economies through strategic investments.

Key strategies include achieving e-Connectivity for rural America, developing the rural economy, harnessing technological innovation, supporting a rural workforce and improving quality of life. For additional information, see the notice in the Federal Register.

Continue Reading

National

Trump says that coronavirus vaccine deliveries will begin within two weeks

Trump said that front-line workers, medical personnel and senior citizens would be the vaccine’s first recipients.

Brandon Moseley

Published

on

(STOCK PHOTO)

President Donald Trump said Thursday that coronavirus vaccine deliveries will begin as early as next week.

“The whole world is suffering, and we are rounding the curve,” Trump said. “And the vaccines are being delivered next week or the week after.”

Trump made the announcement during a special Thanksgiving holiday message to U.S. troops overseas via teleconference. Trump said that front-line workers, medical personnel and senior citizens would be the vaccine’s first recipients. He also argued that his election opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, should not be given credit for the vaccines, which were developed during the Trump administration.

Trump referred to the vaccines, which were developed and tested in less than ten months as a “medical miracle.”

Regulators at the FDA will review Pfizer’s request for an emergency use authorization for its vaccine developed with BioNTech during a meeting on Dec. 10. The director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research says a decision is expected within weeks, possibly days after that key meeting.

The latest trial data for Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine showed that it was 90 percent effective.

ADVERTISEMENT

The CDC plans to vote next week on where the distribution of approved vaccines will begin and who will be allowed to get the first vaccines when they become available.

Dr. Celene Gounder, a member of Biden’s COVID Advisory Board, warned against rushing a vaccine to market.

“The single biggest risk of rushing an approval would be Americans’ distrust the vaccine,” Grounder said. “It’s essential people feel confident this is a safe and effective vaccine.”

Moderna said that its vaccine is 94.5 percent effective in preventing COVID-19.

Public Service Announcement

AstraZeneca says its preliminary results showed its vaccine ranged from 62 percent to 90 percent effective depending on the dosage amount given to participants. AstraZeneca is having to launch a second round of global trials to clear up the discrepancies.

Many Americans appear to have ignored CDC warnings to scale back Thanksgiving holiday plans. More than six million Americans flew over the holiday week, raising fears by public health officials that the surge in coronavirus cases we are experiencing now will be followed by a bigger surge in the next three weeks.

As of press time, there have been 62 million diagnosed cases of coronavirus cases in the world, including nearly 13.5 million in the United States, but many cases are mild and go undiagnosed.

A CDC researcher estimates that the real number of infections in the U.S. has topped 53 million since February. More than 1.4 million people have died around the world since the virus first appeared in China late last year. The death toll includes 271,029 Americans and 3,572 Alabamians.

Continue Reading

News

The Iron Bowl is Saturday

Alabama will have to play without head football coach Nick Saban who has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Brandon Moseley

Published

on

The 2019 Iron Bowl (VIA ALABAMA FOOTBALL/UNIV. OF ALABAMA ATHLETICS)

The Auburn University college football team will play the University of Alabama at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa on Saturday with the game kicking off at 2:30 p.m. Attendance is strictly limited because of COVID-19 restrictions. The game will be televised on CBS stations.

Alabama will have to play without head football coach Nick Saban who has tested positive for the coronavirus and is experiencing mild symptoms. Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian will coach the Crimson Tide in Saban’s absence. He has a 46-35 record as a head coach at USC and Washington.

Auburn will be coached by Gus Malzahn, who has a 67-33 record as a head coach. He is the fifth winningest coach in Auburn history, trailing only Shug Jordan, Mike Donahue, Pat Dye and now-Senator-elect Tommy Tuberville.

Alabama has a 7-0 record and is currently the No. 1 team in the country in the college football rankings. Auburn is 5-2 but with a win could still win the SEC West with wins in its remaining two games, and if Alabama were to lose another game down the stretch. Alabama is just one game ahead of Texas A&M for first place in the SEC West, but the Tide has the tiebreaker by virtue of having defeated the Aggies in head-to-head competition.

In addition to team honors, there is a lot riding for individual players in today’s game. Alabama redshirt junior quarterback Mac Jones has thrown for 2,426 yards and 18 touchdowns in Alabama’s first seven games. Jones’s strong performance has made him a Heisman contender and has earned him consideration as a possible first-round or high second-round draft pick by the NFL if he were to leave Alabama early.

Auburn quarterback Bo Nix has thrown for 1,627 yards and ten touchdowns over seven games.

ADVERTISEMENT

Alabama and Auburn played their first football game against each other in Lakeview Park in Birmingham on Feb. 22, 1893. The game is called the Iron Bowl because historically the game was played on a neutral site: Birmingham’s historic Legion Field. Birmingham at the time was best known for the iron that was mined there and then made into steel and other metal products.

The game is now played as a home and home series, but the Iron Bowl name has stuck with the rivalry.

Alabama leads the series with 46 wins to Auburn’s 37. There has been one tie. Auburn defeated Alabama 48 to 45 in last year’s high scoring contest.

Continue Reading

Health

Vaccines should protect against mutated strains of coronavirus

Public health experts say it will be some time before vaccines are available to the wider public.

Eddie Burkhalter

Published

on

(STOCK PHOTO)

Multiple vaccines for COVID-19 are in clinical trials, and one has already applied for emergency use authorization, but how good will those vaccines be against a mutating coronavirus? A UAB doctor says they’ll do just fine. 

Dr. Rachael Lee, UAB’s hospital epidemiologist, told reporters earlier this week that there have been small genetic mutations in COVID-19. What researchers are seeing in the virus here is slightly different than what’s seen in the virus in China, she said. 

“But luckily the way that these vaccines have been created, specifically the mRNA vaccines, is an area that is the same for all of these viruses,” Lee said, referring to the new type of vaccine known as mRNA, which uses genetic material, rather than a weakened or inactive germ, to trigger an immune response. 

The U.S. Food And Drug Administration is to review the drug company Pfizer’s vaccine on Dec. 10. Pfizer’s vaccine is an mRNA vaccine, as is a vaccine produced by the drug maker Moderna, which is expected to also soon apply for emergency use approval. 

“I think that is incredibly good news, that even though we may see some slight mutations,  we should have a vaccine that should cover all of those different mutations,” Lee said. 

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Wisconsin-Madison found in a recent study, published in the journal Science, that COVID-19 has mutated in ways that make it spread much more easily, but the mutation may also make it more susceptible to vaccines. 

ADVERTISEMENT

In a separate study, researchers with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation found that while most vaccines were modeled after an earlier strain of COVID-19, they found no evidence that the vaccines wouldn’t provide the same immunity response for the new, more dominant strain. 

“This brings the world one step closer to a safe and effective vaccine to protect people and save lives,” said CSIRO chief executive Dr. Larry Marshall, according to Science Daily

While it may not be long before vaccines begin to be shipped to states, public health experts warn it will be some time before vaccines are available to the wider public. Scarce supplies at first will be allocated for those at greatest risk, including health care workers who are regularly exposed to coronavirus patients, and the elderly and ill. 

Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris, speaking to APR last week, urged the public to continue wearing masks and practicing social distancing for many more months, as the department works to make the vaccines more widely available.

Public Service Announcement

“Just because the first shots are rolling out doesn’t mean it’s time to stop doing everything we’ve been trying to get people to do for months. It’s not going to be widely available for a little while,” Harris said.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement