By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Tuesday, March 1, Alabama Republican voters went to the polls and gave New York City billionaire businessman and reality television star Donald Trump an overwhelming victory. On Wednesday, May 4, Trump’s last remaining Republican rival, Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) suspended his campaign. Donald Trump has won more votes in Republican primaries and caucuses than any other GOP Presidential candidate in the history of the United States and there are still eight states left to vote including California, the nation’s most populous state. Kasich followed US Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) who suspended his campaign on Tuesday after Indiana gave Trump his seventh victory in a row.
Prominent Trump campaign leader and Alabama Republican Party State Executive Committee member Perry Hooper Jr is now calling for all Republicans to unite to elect Donald Trump President.
Former State Representative Hooper said in a statement, “As a patriot and a man who loves his country, I call on all Republicans and all Americans to unify with presumptive Republican nominee Donald J Trump and move our country forward. We must heal our disagreements and unite to defeat Hillary Clinton. There is simply too much at stake for us to fail to come together. I also commend Ted Cruz for stepping aside knowing it was the right thing to do for our party and our nation.”
Hooper continued, “I call on my friends “establishment leaders” Karl Rove, Mitt Romney, Ed Rogers, Ron Kaufman, Governor Haley Barbour, Senator John McCain, Senator Lindsey Graham and others to provide their much need leadership in this effort. If they sit this one out I am afraid we will have what Hillary promises; four more years of Obama’s vision for America.”
Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan said on social media, “And the day sees Gov. John Kasich suspending his campaign. We are thankful of his service to our nation. Donald Trump is the presumptive nominee and we will win in November. Can’t wait to see him debate Hillary-you know that’s going to be uuuggggeeee.”
Hooper said, “Donald Trump gets it. Under his leadership we will roll back Obamacare, pass meaning immigration reform, rebuild our military, take care of our vets and end the threat of radical Islamic terrorism. Most importantly, he will put America first. Sacrifices of generations of Americans have made this country the greatest in the world. Four years of Hillary would bring it all tumbling down.”
Donald Trump still needs to get to 1237 pledged delegates before Cleveland to avoid any kind of surprise at the convention. To this point he has 1041 delegates.
Adia Winfrey reports from campaigns trail
The November 3 general election is in less than two weeks and congressional candidate Adia Winfrey is reporting back from the campaign trail.
“They say a picture says a thousand words, so I wanted to share a few shots from the campaign trail with you!” Winfrey said in an email to supporters. “We still need your support as we get closer to November 3rd. A poll released yesterday showed Senator Doug Jones with a huge lead among early absentee voters! This lets us know that what Democrats are doing is working, and we’ve got to keep the pressure on. Every day is Election Day!”
“We need your help to spread the word and continue reaching out to voters to help Democrats up and down the ticket,” Winfrey continued. “Make sure you tell your family and friends to get to their local courthouse for in-person absentee voting on any weekday between now and October 29th. Many counties are also hosting Saturday voting on October 24th, so look out for that option as well! Check with seniors in your communities and churches to make sure they’re able to get out to vote safely in this important election.”
Winfrey is running in the Third Congressional District. Winfrey is the Democratic nominee. She is challenging incumbent Congressman Mike Rogers (R-Saks). Rogers is seeking a tenth term in the U.S. House of Representatives.
According to NBC News more than 35 million Americans have already voted early and absentee. This is already more early and absentee votes than were cast in the 2016 election.
The Alabama Democratic Party said in a statement, “We’re only two weeks out from Election Day! We are proud of everything we have accomplished so far. From rebuilding of party to successfully pressuring counties into offering Saturday voting, we have already made history this fall!”
“We are going to spend the rest of this week pressuring other counties to offer their voters this same opportunity,” the ADP continued. But we need your help. We’ve reached out to over 3 million Democrats across Alabama. We have prioritized reaching out to voters who traditionally never hear from us. Now, it’s time to put our GOTV plan into action.”
Adia Winfrey is a psychologist and native of Talladega. Winfrey has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Wilberforce University and a doctorate of clinical psychology degree from the Wright State University School of Professional Psychology. She is the founder of the H.Y.P.E. (Healing Young People thru Empowerment) movement.
Election day is November 3.
Eula Battle, wife of Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, has died
Tuesday, Eula Battle, the wife of Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, has passed away from her fight with cancer. She was 65.
Mayor Tommy Battle announces the death of his wife and best friend, Eula Catherine Sammons Battle, in a statement.
Eula was born in Huntsville, Alabama, on Sept. 29, 1955, to Dr. Robert A. Sammons and his wife, Calvert Sammons. She was the second youngest of five children.
She graduated of Huntsville High School, got a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Wesleyan College. She worked 31 years as a schoolteacher. After her first year of teaching in Conyers, Ga., Eula returned home to teach kindergarten in the Madison County School System. She was named Madison County Teacher of the Year in 2000for her outstanding service and dedication.
Once Eula “retired” from public education, she went on to support and teach in the newly formed Greengate School, an academic program focused on students with dyslexia and other learning disabilities.
In 2010, she co-founded Free 2 Teach, a non-profit that supplies free school materials for local teachers. To date, Free 2 Teach has distributed more than $7 million in supplies and materials to Huntsville-area teachers.
Eula’s focus on education also influenced a Mayoral initiative, the Mayor’s Book Club, where she championed businesses to fund more than 100,000 books for students in Title 1 schools. Eula and Tommy wanted children in need to be able to build their own personal libraries to hopefully instill a love of reading and learning.
Eula campaigned with Tommy door to door on their dates when he was first running for mayor in 1988. She was instrumental in garnering public support for his subsequent bid for mayor in 2008 and tirelessly traveled the state when Tommy entered the 2018 governor’s race, always promoting Huntsville and gathering a network of more friends and fans along the way.
“Eula never met a stranger and those who had the honor of meeting and knowing her will miss her gregarious spirit, robust laughter and fierce devotion to family and friends. She was everyone’s favorite aunt, best friend, and enthusiastic cheerleader. Eula was a terrific cook, challenging Tommy’s culinary expertise, making mealtime at the Battle house a delicious affair.”
Eula was exceptionally proud of her son, Drew, and her two grandsons, George and Benjamin.
She was actively involved in her community her entire life. She was a former member of the Junior League of Huntsville and Grace Club, was an active member of Trinity United Methodist Church, was selected as a participant in the Leadership Huntsville Class 26 and belonged to Alpha Kappa Delta, an honorary organization for women educators, and to the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). She was honored by the Women’s Economic Development Council Foundation in 2014, received the DAR Founders Medal for Education in 2019, and received the 2020 Boy Scouts Whitney M. Young Community Service Award. In 2019 Athens State University established the Eula S. Battle education scholarship so she could have a hand in developing future teachers. In 2020, Eula was a White Linen and Wine Honoree for the Russell Hill Cancer Foundation.
Eula is survived by her husband, Tommy Battle; their son, Drew Battle and his wife, Lauren; grandsons, George and Benjamin; brothers, Dr. Robert Sammons (Louise), Dr. Calame Sammons (Dianne), and Bill Sammons (Laurie); a sister, Susan Sammons Sullins (Bill); and 12 nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to Free 2 Teach or Trinity United Methodist Church in Huntsville. Laughlin Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.
Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) said in a statement, “Martha and I extend our deepest heartfelt sympathies to the entire Battle family as they grieve the loss of Eula Battle. Eula’s tremendous legacy will be felt in Huntsville for decades as her kindness and charity ripple through the many lives she touched. May God’s peace be with the Battle family. Eula’s many loved ones can be assured she is now in a better place.”
Governor Kay Ivey (R), “I’m saddened to hear of the passing of Eula Battle. She was a loving and supportive wife to Mayor Battle, and as he refers to her, his “best friend.” I extend my deepest sympathies and prayers to their family in this hard season.”
Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth (R) said, “The Tennessee Valley lost one of its most dedicated community leaders with the passing of Eula Battle. Eula devoted her life to teaching and provided her students with valuable lessons that they carry to this day. Kendall and I send our prayers of condolence to the Battle family.”
Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) said, “Charitable acts and generosity were Eula’s trademarks, and her presence in the Huntsville community will be dearly missed. My wife, Debbie, and I lost a true friend with the passing of Eula, and I pray that God provides comfort to Mayor Battle and his family during this time.”
State shuts down flounder harvest in November
Tuesday, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Marine Resources Division reminded saltwater fishermen that harvesting any flounder (Paralichthys dentatus) during the month of November is forbidden.
“The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ (ADCNR) Marine Resources Division (MRD) would like to remind anglers of the flounder changes that were adopted on August 1, 2019,” the MRD announced. “Flounder will be closed for harvest during the entire month of November for both commercial and recreational fishermen.”
Fishermen can resume harvesting flounders December 1, 2020, at 12:01am.
The MRD reminds saltwater anglers that the recreational size limit for flounder is 14 inches total length, and the daily bag limit is five per person. The commercial size limit is 14 inches total length with a daily limit of 40 per person or 40 per vessel.
According to NOAA’s 2019 stock assessment, summer flounder are not overfished and are not subject to overfishing. Scientists at NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center estimate the abundance of summer flounder using data collected during their annual bottom trawl surveys, along with data from state- and university-run surveys.
The summer flounder stock declined to record lows in the late 1980s and early 1990s. With improved reproduction and survival rates and sustainable management, spawning stock biomass (a measure of the amount of summer flounder able to reproduce) has increased substantially.
Alabama is a sportsman’s paradise with year round freshwater fishing, saltwater fishing, and hunting opportunities. Hunting and fishing are activities that the whole family can enjoy while still social distancing to avoid spreading the coronavirus. Remember that you must have a valid license to hunt or fish. You can get the appropriate licenses online.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is tasked with promoting wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through four divisions: Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries.
You can learn more about ADCNR at www.outdooralabama.com.
EDA announces federal investment award to dredge the Port of Epes Industrial Park
Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.7 million grant to the University of West Alabama, in Livingston, Alabama, to improve barge access at the Port of Epes Industrial Park. The EDA grant will be located in a Opportunity Zone, made possible by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2018. The grant will be matched with $540,000 in local funds and is expected to create 85 jobs and generate $175 million in private investment.
“Already, the Opportunity Zones across our state are helping boost the chance for economic prosperity, and this $1.7 million investment in Livingston, Alabama certainly adds to that effort,” said Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R). “I am proud that the Trump Administration continues following through on their commitment to grow opportunities across our state and the nation. This is a welcome investment, and I am grateful to President Trump and Secretary Ross for their constant support for Alabama.”
“This $1.7 million EDA grant for the Port of Epes infrastructure project will improve barge access and increase the capacity of the industrial park,” said U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama). “The funding will help create jobs and fuel the local economy, encouraging and enabling long-term economic benefits to West Alabama. I am pleased to have worked with the Administration to support this project and look forward to its completion.”
Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-Selma) has worked for several years with local officials and the University of West Alabama in their efforts to boost industrial transportation access to promote export development, attract additional investments, support business resilience, and strengthen the economy of the Black Belt.
“I am so excited that the Port of Epes in Livingston has been granted the funding necessary to promote economic opportunity for our workers and families in the Black Belt,” said Rep. Sewell. “There is nothing more important to me than increasing opportunity in my district. That is why I have fought so hard to make Alabama’s Opportunity Zone program work for areas like the Black Belt, where communities will most benefit from investments and job development.”
“The Trump Administration is committed to helping communities in Alabama and across the nation grow through strategic investment,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “This project will fund improvements to transportation infrastructure at the Port of Epes Industrial Park to help a major wood pellet company increase their operational capacity, attract new businesses, and advance efforts to capitalize on the project’s Opportunity Zone designation.”
Dana Gartzke is Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development.
“EDA is pleased to support local strategies to spur additional development at the Port of Epes Industrial Park,” said Gartzke. “This project will provide Sumter County with expanded industrial transportation infrastructure to support businesses and drive development. The project’s location in an Opportunity Zone will further transform the community.”
John Clyde Riggs is the Executive Director of the Alabama-Tombigbee Regional Commission.
“We at the Alabama-Tombigbee Regional Commission are excited to learn today that the Economic Development Administration has awarded $1.7 million dollars to the University of West Alabama to improve barge access to the Port of Epes in Sumter County Alabama,” said Director Riggs. “This grant which is located in an Opportunity Zone will help create 85 jobs with a $175 million dollar private investment. Thanks go out to Congresswoman Terri Sewell for her assistance in securing this much needed grant.”
Ken Tucker is the President of the University of West Alabama (UWA).
“We are immensely appreciative of this grant award from the U.S. Department of Commerce that will allow UWA the opportunity to expand our economic and workforce development efforts for a 10-county rural area that we serve,” said President Tucker. “In 2018, UWA shifted its outreach focus to economic and workforce development, and in a very short time, this division has helped secure nearly $5 million in external funding for the Port of Epes, plus nearly $5 million for other economic and workforce development initiatives in our region.”
Dr. Tina N. Jones is the Vice President of UWA’s Division of Economic and Workforce Development.
“As a regional university whose mission includes improving the quality of life for the region, UWA has long seen education as an engine that drives economic and workforce development, and this $1.7 million will have a transformative influence on the people of west Alabama and beyond for many years to come,” said Vice President Jones. “We are eager to continue our efforts to establish the partnerships and innovative initiatives that will strengthen the impact of this generous investment for our region and rural Alabama.”
Allison T. Brantley is the director of economic development at UWA.
“It is critical that we continue to work together with organizations and agencies at every level to provide a foundation for the Black Belt by showcasing all that it has to offer to the rest of the world,” said Director Brantley. “We want to do far more than merely sustain our economy. We want to match assets, resources, and opportunities in such a way that says to industries and developers not only are we a viable option, but we are the best option.”
The University of West Alabama applied for the EDA investment grant with the Industrial Development Authority of Sumter County.
The funding announced on Tuesday goes to one of Alabama’s 158 Opportunity Zones. The Opportunity Zones were created by President Donald J. Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. The goal of the Opportunity Zones is to spur economic development in economically-distressed communities nationwide. In June 2019, EDA added Opportunity Zones as an Investment Priority, which increases the number of catalytic Opportunity Zone-related projects that EDA can fund to fuel greater public investment in these areas.
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.
EDA grants are awarded through a competitive process based upon the application’s merit, the applicant’s eligibility, and the availability of funds.