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Conservatives Displeased With Passage Of CRomnibus

Brandon Moseley

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By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Conservative groups across the State of Alabama have voiced disappointment with the recent passage of the Continuing Resolution, which funded the federal government until the end of the fiscal year, September 30. Alabama US Representatives, Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose), Martha Roby (R-Montgomery), Terri Sewell (D-Selma), Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) and Spencer Bachus (R-Vestavia) all voted for the measure. Alabama’s two Republican US Senators Jeff Sessions and Richard Shelby as well as Congressmen Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) and Mike Rogers (R-Saks) voted against the bill, H.R. 83.

Alabama Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead said in a statement on Wednesday, December 15, “The United States Congress didn’t do you any favors over the weekend. With the help of the Republican leadership in Congress, they passed a $1.1 trillion package of spending bills – including Obama’s amnesty program – which will fund the government through September 2015.”

The Coordinator of the Alabama Constitutional Conservatives, Deanna Frankowski, told the Alabama Political Reporter, “It is apparent that Reps. Aderholt, Bachus, Byrne, and Roby did not get the message sent by the voters in last month’s elections. All of our Republican congressmen from Alabama have railed against President Obama’s Executive amnesty, calling it “unconstitutional,” “harmful,” or “illegal.” Instead of fighting this overreach, they chose to side with President Obama by giving him the money to carry out his Executive Order. By funding it, these congressmen are now complicit in carrying out President Obama’s executive amnesty.”

The President of the Wetumpka TEA Party, Becky Gerritson said in a written statement, “It’s barely been five weeks since the election and already these representatives have broken their campaign promises to defund Obamacare and stand against President Obama’s illegal Executive amnesty. The 1,603 page/$1.1 trillion spending bill was largely drafted in secret. Congress only had about a day and half to read the bill which not only funds Obamacare and Obama’s Executive amnesty, but is full of goodies for special interest groups, including big banks. It also uses budget gimmicks to bust congress’ spending caps which add to our enormous deficit. Conservative constituents bombarded their offices with phone calls pleading for them to vote “no”. Rep. Brooks and Rep. Rogers heeded our calls and we commend them yet the other four Alabama Republican Representatives preferred to listen to House leadership and spit in our faces.”

Montgomery TEA Party Patriots leader, Bash Agricola, said in a written statement, “Which part of illegal do people not understand? Once someone crosses the border illegally anything they do is illegal. Congress has a duty to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the rule of law and they’ve chosen not to do that. They don’t represent me; they’ve just become a bigger part of the problem.”

Ann Eubank from Rainy Day Patriots asks, “How long will the citizens of Alabama believe what our elected representatives tell us when the first thing they do is go to Washington and vote against us? When they come home they must face their constituents and give an answer for their actions.”

Chairman Armistead said, “This unrestrained spending bill is the lame-duck Congress’ last-ditch effort to stick it to the American people. Voters went to the polls in November and sent a very clear message. They voted against Obama’s policies. He even said he was not on the ballot, but his policies were. ObamaCare. Yet the first major action taken by the Congress after the election is to trample over the will of the voters by funding these programs.”

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Frankowski credited Rep. Mo Brooks and Rep. Mike Rogers for voting to defund President’s Obama’s amnesty by voting to oppose the Cromnibus Bill. Frankowski said, “Rep. Brooks deserves special praise as he also voted against the procedural rule. But most importantly, we need to give our special appreciation to Senator Sessions for leading the fight against amnesty. He has the utmost gratitude of Alabamians, and we will continue to support his efforts.”

Chairman Armistead wrote, “Where were our leaders when we needed them? Where was Speaker John Boehner? Where was incoming Majority leader Mitch McConnell? They were working with Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and the president to get this travesty passed. Unfortunately, our Republican leadership seems so afraid they are going to be blamed for a government shutdown that they bent over backwards to do exactly what this President wanted. The House voted 219-206 and the Senate voting 56-40 for this legislation.”

“Thankfully, we can be proud of Alabama’s two Senators – Jeff Sessions and Richard Shelby – for voting against this ill-conceived legislation, as did two members of our delegation in the House – Mo Brooks and Mike Rogers. They deserve our praise and thanks for taking a principled stand on this legislation. They held the line on spending even though they no doubt faced much pressure from House and Senate leadership to support the plan.”

Various Alabama conservative grassroots groups issued a joint statement denouncing the passage of the C.R. These include: the Wetumpka TEA Party, Rainy Day Patriots, Alabama Eagle Forum, Montgomery TEA Party Patriots, Alabama SGP Action, The Madison Institute, Covington County TEA Party Patriots, Alabama Constitutional Conservatives, Alabama Legislative Watchdogs, Patriots of Liberty TEA Party, Common Sense Campaign, Walker County TEA Party, Rainy Day Patriots of Calhoun County, Barbour County TEA Party, and the Mobile Chapter of the John Birch Society.

The United States has not passed an actual budget since 2006. Instead the country has been run on a series of Continuing Resolutions. The C.R. did not fund the Department of Homeland Security but until the end of February, setting up another battle over President Barack Hussein Obama’s controversial Executive amnesty.

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Health

Ivey awards more than $17 million in federal coronavirus aid to local agencies

Eddie Burkhalter

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More than $17 million in coronavirus relief aid has been awarded to 20 state community action agencies, Gov. Kay Ivey’s office announced Friday. 

“COVID-19 has disrupted lives in many ways and in varying degrees,” Gov. Ivey said in a statement. “It is my hope that the services provided by these funds will help people as they work toward a quick and complete economic recovery.”

The Community Service Block grants made available by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will be used by the various local agencies to provide aid to those impacted by the pandemic, including seniors,  the disabled and low-income families, according to a press release from Ivey’s office. 

“Gov. Ivey is determined to help Alabama and Alabamians emerge from this pandemic as strong if not stronger than ever,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “ADECA stands ready to be a part of that process with the funds made available through our programs.”

Agencies, amounts and coverage areas include:

  • Community Action Agency of Northwest Alabama Inc. – $668,160 (Colbert, Franklin and Lauderdale counties)
  • Community Action Partnership Huntsville/Madison and Limestone Counties – $1.05 million (Limestone and Madison counties)
  • Community Action Agency of Northeast Alabama Inc. – $1.35 million (Blount, Cherokee, DeKalb, Jackson, Marshall, and St. Clair counties)
  • Community Action Partnership of North Alabama – $775,602 (Cullman, Lawrence and Morgan counties)
  • Marion-Winston Counties Community Action Committee Inc. – $226,538 (Marion and Winston counties)
  • Walker County Community Action Agency Inc. – $273,782 (Walker County)
  • Community Action Agency of Talladega, Clay, Randolph, Calhoun and Cleburne counties – $1.02 million (Calhoun, Clay, Cleburne, Randolph, and Talladega counties)
  • Community Action of Etowah County Inc. – $379,592 (Etowah County)
  • Pickens County Community Action Committee and Community Development Corp. Inc. – $117,329 (Pickens County)
  • Community Service Programs of West Alabama Inc. – $1.65 million (Bibb, Choctaw, Dallas, Fayette, Greene, Lamar, Perry, Sumter and Tuscaloosa counties)
  • Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity – $2.19 million (Jefferson County)
  • Community Action Committee Inc. of Chambers, Tallapoosa, Coosa – $351,259 (Chambers, Coosa and Tallapoosa counties)
  • Community Action Partnership of Middle Alabama Inc. – $793,918 (Autauga, Chilton, Elmore and Shelby counties)
  • Montgomery Community Action Committee and Community Development Corp. Inc. – $911,887 (Montgomery County)
  • Alabama Council on Human Relations Inc. – $550,919 (Lee County)
  • Macon-Russell Community Action Agency Inc. – $375,068 (Macon and Russell counties)
  • Organized Community Action Program Inc. – $806,165 (Bullock, Butler, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Lowndes and Pike counties)
  • Community Action Agency of South Alabama – $1.24 million (Baldwin, Clarke, Conecuh, Escambia, Marengo, Monroe, and Wilcox counties)
  • Southeast Alabama Community Action Partnership Inc. – $827,944 (Barbour, Coffee, Geneva, Henry and Houston counties)
  • Mobile Community Action Inc. – $1.77 million (Mobile and Washington counties)
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Crime

“A horrific scene”: Seven found dead after Morgan County shooting

Brandon Moseley

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Seven people were found dead in a horrific scene at a home in rural Morgan County late Thursday night after gunshots were reported.

The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office Friday morning said its deputies responded to the scene Thursday night. At approximately 11:23 p.m. deputies responded to a gunshots call in the 500 block of Talacuh Rd in Valhermoso Springs. Police confirmed seven adult fatalities.

“The scene is secure and no immediate threat to the public in the area,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement, but no suspect in custody.”

There are media reports that the victims include four men and three women.

“Morgan County Sheriff and Madison County Sheriff Crime Scene Units are processing the scene,” the Sheriff’s Department said in the statement. “The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office is part of the FBI Violent Crimes Taskforce which is also assisting. Sheriff Puckett, Coroner Jeff Chunn and District Attorney Scott Anderson have been on scene throughout the night and morning.”

Upon arrival at the residence, deputies saw part of the home was on fire and later discovered seven bodies inside after the fire was extinguished. The deputies were able to put out the fire before the fire department arrived. A dog was also found dead in the home.

“It is a horrific scene and to be able to process it will take some time,” MCSO’s public information officer Mike Swafford told WAAY. “We don’t have a motive at this time. We don’t have a determined suspect at this time. Investigators are following leads to piece together exactly what happened and who was involved. We can say we don’t believe there is an active threat to anybody in the area.”

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The neighbors called 911 to report the gunshots

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National

Mobile removes Confederate monument overnight

Chip Brownlee

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The city of Mobile removed a Confederate monument from downtown overnight following days of protest in Mobile and nationwide over police brutality and systemic racism.

Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson said he ordered the statue removed from its prominent location in downtown Mobile overnight.

“Moving this statue will not change the past,” Stimpson said in a statement on Twitter. “It is about removing a potential distraction so we may focus clearly on the future of our city. That conversation, and the mission to create One Mobile, continues today.”

The 120-year-old statue of Admiral Raphael Semmes, a Confederate Navy admiral, is the second Confederate monument removed in Alabama since protests gripped the nation over the police killing of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

“To be clear: This decision is not about Raphael Semmes, it is not about a monument and it is not an attempt to rewrite history,” Stimpson said.

Stimpson said the statue has been placed in a secure location.

Last week, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin ordered a Confederate monument in Linn Park removed. That statue had been at the center of a years-long legal battle between the city of Birmingham and the Alabama Legislature, and Attorney General Steve Marshall has since sued the city a second time seeking a $25,000 fine for removing the monument.

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It is likely that Mobile will also face a similar fine.

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Crime

More prison workers, inmates test positive for COVID-19

Eddie Burkhalter

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Four more prison workers and three inmates have tested positive for COVID-19, the Alabama Department of Corrections announced Thursday. 

Workers at the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women, the Elmore Correctional Facility, the Kilby Correctional Facility and the Bibb Correctional Facility self-reported positive coronavirus test results, according to an ADOC press release. 

Fifty-one cases among prison staff remain active while 25 workers who tested positive have been cleared to return to work. 

One inmate at the Easterling Correctional Facility and another at Tutwiler prison were moved into isolated areas in the facilities’ infirmaries after testing positive for the virus, according to the release. There have been 17 confirmed COVID-19 cases among staff at Tutwiler and 2 infected inmates. 

In addition to those two new confirmed cases, an inmate at the St. Clair Correctional Facility who had pre-existing medical conditions was taken to a local hospital after exhibiting coronavirus symptoms, where he tested positive for the virus. 

Thirteen of 22 confirmed COVID-19 cases among inmates remain active, according to ADOC. 

ADOC has tested 191 of approximately 22,000 inmates as of Wednesday.

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