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9 August

What we are watching and reading is not Journalism. It's Social Engineering. These people finally point that out.

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10 May 16

In case no one noticed (it slipped by me too), the Alabama House and Senate have passed Legislation that would make the growing of Industrial Hemp legal in the state of Alabama. To see my Sept. 2015 article, Alabama's Billion Dollar Crop, on the legalization of Industrial Hemp and marijuana, scroll to the bottom of this page.

HB393
Rep(s). By Representative Johnson (K) HB393 ENROLLED, An Act, Relating to industrial
hemp; to authorize the Department of Agriculture and Industries to administer an industrial
hemp research program; to authorize the production of industrial hemp
to be used for the manufacture of industrial hemp products; and to amend Section
20-2-2, Code of Alabama 1975, to provide further for the definition of marijuana. BE IT ENACTED
BY THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA: Section 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the
Alabama Industrial Hemp Research Program Act. Section 2. As used in this act
the following words shall have the following meanings: (1) DEPARTMENT. The Department of Agriculture
and Industries. (2) GROWER. Any person, business entity, or cooperative licensed to grow industrial
hemp by the department or an institution of higher education pursuant to this act.
(3) HEMP PRODUCTS. Any and all products made from industrial hemp, including,
but not limited to, cloth, cordage, fiber,...
 

SB347
174366-2:n:03/09/2016:JMH/cj LRS2016-746R1 SB347 By Senators Bussman and Singleton RFD Agriculture,
Conservation, and Forestry Rd 1 10-MAR-16 SYNOPSIS: This bill would authorize the Department
of Agriculture and Industries to administer an industrial hemp research program.
This bill would allow the department or an institution of higher learning could apply for
a permit or waiver to grow industrial hemp for the manufacture of hemp
products. This bill would revise the definition of marijuana in the controlled substances
law to exclude industrial hemp. A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT Relating to industrial
hemp; to authorize the Department of Agriculture and Industries to administer an industrial
hemp research program; to authorize the production of industrial hemp
to be used for the manufacture of industrial hemp products; and to amend Section
20-2-2, Code of Alabama 1975, to provide further for the definition of marijuana. BE IT ENACTED
BY THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA: Section 1. This act...

Alabama House and Senate Pass Industrial Hemp Bill

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1 November 15

Yes, I've been quiet lately. I'm just sitting back watching, listening, reading and learning.

I do want to say this, what I write about on this website or in our print edition is for the consumption of our residents in Conecuh County (and surrounding area). I am not trying to change the world. I am, however, trying to inform our local residents. Our local - and our national media - don't always fill in the blanks. I try to tell you things other media ignore. At this point there have been many important things concerning our community - and our nation - that you have read exclusively on this website or in our print edition.

So, what you read here is for Conecuh County. It's to inform you. Ours is a hometown newspaper, and this is a hometown website.

In my career as a journalist, I've had articles I've written go national. Something I'm very proud of.

But I couldn't care less if I ever have another one. My concern is in making Conecuh a better place - and all of us a little wiser.

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Alabama's Billion Dollar Crop?

By: Jim Allen
ALABAMA-Okay folks, I'm well aware that we've had a lot of radical change shoved down our throats recently, but here's one radical change that actually makes a lot of sense. Legalize marijuana and hemp.

Alabama needs revenue and our state needs jobs. Get ready for a double whammy. You're going to be surprised.

First of all, marijuana in all it's forms has been a major staple for humanity in every civilization since Mankind walked out of the caves more than 12,000 years ago. It was one of Mankind's first domesticated herbs, probably due to it's medicinal attributes first, then the myriad of uses for every part of the plant.

Marijuana and hemp were legal and in common use within the United States until a group of Industrialists, namely William Randolf Hurst and Lammont DuPont, chose to flex their financial influence and political muscle in the 1930s when they smeared marijuana's reputation and launched a propaganda campaign to outlaw marijuana and “Reefer Madness” was born.

The name “marijuana” was not even in use at the time and the plant was more commonly known as cannabis and hemp. The American Medical Association (AMA) opposed the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 because the tax was imposed on physicians prescribing cannabis, retail pharmacists selling cannabis, and medical cannabis cultivation/manufacturing. Dr. William Creighton Woodward, legislative counsel for the AMA also objected because the word Marijuana was largely unknown at the time, and that the medical profession did not realize they were losing cannabis.

The success of the Industrialists and their friends in Congress speaks for itself. Due to their efforts, the lives of millions of people in the United States and around the world have been devastated. Not by the effects of marijuana, but by America's War on Drugs – which has been a dismal failure.

Hurst and DuPont were very smart men. Hurst, who owned newspapers and millions of acres of timber, and DuPont, who's chemical company was expanding into plastics and polymers, knew that if they could convince Congress and the public that marijuana was a danger to society (in spite of a 12,000 year history), they could get marijuana outlawed.

In fact, most people had never even heard of marijuana.

But it really wasn't marijuana/cannabis they were after. It was it's medically benign cousin, the hemp plant they wanted to destroy. The hemp someone could smoke a ton of and only get a headache.

Prior to the 1930s, cannabis and hemp were used in virtually every household. It came in the form of clothing, rope, lantern wicks, lantern fuel, curtains, bedding, and in cooking as herbs and oils, and was prescribed as medicine by doctors. Every sail and every rope on every ship that sailed the world's oceans was made from hemp.

The original work jeans made for gold miners by Levi Strauss, the ones so durable they almost couldn't be worn out, were made from scraps of hemp sails taken off sailing ships.

Most paper was also made from hemp. Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence on paper made from hemp.

So, because hemp got lumped into the marijuana craze, they were both outlawed in the United States and only recently has this miraculous plant been legally coming back to life.

Hurst and DuPont fooled the public, made billions of dollars, and everything that had been made from hemp was replaced with wood products, petroleum, and chemical compounds.

Let's start with marijuana.

I've been in the newspaper business for 28 years. I've covered so many vehicle accidents in my career that I don't want to go to another one and don't cover them in this newspaper.

I've seen firsthand the devastation of alcohol-related vehicle accidents, domestic disputes, and other violent crimes directly related to alcohol. There can be no disputing that alcohol is a dangerous drug.

In all of my years as a reporter, I have only been to one vehicle accident directly related to marijuana, and marijuana only. That particular incident involved a man transporting about 5 pounds of pot to a festival in Atlanta and the fool decided to try and roll a joint while driving north on I-65.

Fortunately, the guy had only minor injuries from the accident, but soon had a serious criminal history.

There has never been a single overdose death attributed to marijuana.

According to a 2009 study by Jon Gettman, Ph.D., with drugscience.org, there were 12,575 arrests for marijuana offenses in Alabama in 2007.

Marijuana possession arrests accounted for 99% of all marijuana arrests in Alabama during 2007. (Nationally, marijuana possession arrests account for 89% of all marijuana arrests.) There were 12,400 arrests for marijuana possession in Alabama in 2007, and 175 arrests for marijuana sales.

Marijuana arrests also accounted for 56% of all drug arrests in Alabama during 2007.

Marijuana arrests in the United States increased from 755,200 in 2003 to 872,720 in 2007. This represents an average annualized change of +2.93% per year.

Historically, marijuana arrests in the United States increased by 150% in the 1990s, rising dramatically from 287,850 in 1991 to 723,627 in 2001, an average annualized change of 8.74% per year. During this time the number of individuals who reported marijuana use in national surveys increased modestly from 19.2 million in 1991 to 21 million in 2001.

On a percentage basis, annual marijuana use was reported by 10.78% of the population in 2003 and 10.22% in 2007.

There were a total of 243,604 arrests in Alabama in 2006 costing taxpayers $1.93 billion in police protection, legal and court costs, and incarceration. There were 12,065 marijuana arrests that year, accounting for 4.95% of all arrests in Alabama for 2006. Consequently, according to this percentage, marijuana arrests cost taxpayers $95.39 million in Alabama for 2006.

How short is Alabama's budget this year? $200 million?

So, if Alabama legalized marijuana, commuted all simple possession charges and released those individuals from jail, parole and probation, Alabama could save how much money? And if Alabama sold marijuana, like alcohol to 21+ year-olds through our state ABC stores, how much revenue could that generate?

Let's take a look at Colorado and Washington state where marijuana is legal.

Colorado reports that tax revenue in 2013-14, the state's first year with legal marijuana, totaled $14,787,208. The second year, 2014-15, that revenue jumped to $52,570,081. During the year 2014-15, Colorado states that it's Retail Marijuana Excise Tax revenue (at 15%) increased a whopping 1,102.8%!

In Washington state, medical marijuana sales from November 2013 to June 2015 generated $25,570,711. After recently legalizing recreational use, on July 1, 2015 the state began assessing a 37% tax on retail recreational marijuana sales. This is in addition to the state's tax on gross sales by producers, processors and retailers.

So let's see... if Alabama legalized marijuana it could save approximately $95 million in enforcement and incarceration, and by Colorado's example, could generate another $52 million for a total of almost $150 million.

Now let's talk industrial hemp.

Popular Mechanics Magazine; February 1938: New Billion Dollar Crop

Forbes Magazine; May 2013: Industrial Hemp: A Win-Win For The Economy And The Environment

The Popular Mechanics article was published just as strict federal laws (and enforcement confusion) were taking a firm hold, and hemp products still held a strong history in American society. But from the very beginning, the intentional legal confusion between marijuana and hemp successfully pushed by Hurst and DuPont, led to the downfall of hemp – and even interfered with a 1942 World War II war-effort campaign called “Hemp For Victory” established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Needless to say, a billion dollars in 1938 was a lot of money, and showed the potential of hemp as technical innovations were developing new uses for the plant. Unfortunately, under federal law, all research into the plant came to an end.

In recent years members of Congress have introduced legislation to separate hemp from marijuana laws and allow research and development.

On February 7, 2014, President Obama signed the Farm Bill of 2014 into law. Section 7606 of the act, Legitimacy of Industrial Hemp Research, defines industrial hemp as distinct and authorizes institutions of higher education or state departments of agriculture (in states where hemp is legal to grow), to grow hemp for research or agricultural pilot programs.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 22 states have enacted state laws relating to industrial hemp.

Thirteen states have statutes establishing commercial industrial hemp programs: California, Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Seven states have passed laws establishing industrial hemp programs that are limited to agricultural or academic research purposes: Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, Nebraska, New York, and Utah.

What can be made from hemp? Just about everything and it's stronger, more durable, and more ecologically friendly to our environment.

This according to a Purdue University study:

Fiber Uses: Hemp fiber can potentially replace other biological fibers in many applications, but also can sometimes compete with minerals such as glass fiber and steel. One of the reasons hemp fiber has been valued is because of its length. The primary bast fibers in the bark are 5–40 mm long, and are amalgamated in fiber bundles which can be 1–5 m long (secondary bast fibers are about 2 mm long). Other desirable features of hemp fibers are strength and durability (particularly resistance to decay), which made hemp useful in the past for rope, nets, sail-cloth, and oakum for caulking. During the age of sailing ships, Cannabis was considered to provide the very best of canvas, and indeed this word is derived from Cannabis. Hemp long fiber is one of the strongest and most durable of natural fibers, with high tensile strength, wet strength, and other characteristics that make it technically suited for various industrial products.

Textiles: Although always sold at a premium price, hemp clothing has a natural appeal to a sector of the population. Hemp clothes are resistant to abrasion, but are typically abrasive. However, appropriate processing and blending with other natural fibers has significantly improved the “feel” of the product, and in China hemp textiles indistinguishable from fine linens in texture are available. Weaving of hemp fibers into textiles and apparel is primarily done in China, Hungary, Romania, Russia, and the Ukraine. In addition to textiles used in clothing, coarser woven cloth (canvas) is used for upholstery, bags, sacks, and tarpaulins.

Pulp and Paper: Van Roekel (1994) has pointed out that Egyptian papyrus sheets are not “paper,” because the fiber strands are woven, not “wet-laid;” the oldest surviving paper is over 2,000 years of age, from China, and was made from hemp fiber (Fleming and Clarke 1998). Until the early 19th century, hemp, and flax were the chief paper-making materials. In historical times, hemp rag was processed into paper. Using hemp directly for paper was considered too expensive, and in any event the demand for paper was far more limited than today. Wood-based paper came into use when mechanical and chemical pulping was developed in the mid 1800s in Germany and England. Today, at least 95% of paper is made from wood pulp. A chief argument that has been advanced in favor of developing hemp as a paper and pulp source has been that as a non-wood or tree-free fiber source, it can reduce harvesting of primary forests and the threat to associated biodiversity. It has been claimed that hemp produces three to four times as much useable fiber per hectare per annum as forests.

Plastic Composites for the Automobile and Other Manufacturing Sectors: With respect to fiber, a “composite” is often defined as a material consisting of 30%–70% fiber and 70%–30% matrix. However, in North America particleboards and fiberboards, which generally contain less than 10% adhesive or matrix, are sometimes referred to as composites. This section addresses plastic-type composites. In plastics, fibers are introduced to improve physical properties such as stiffness, impact resistance, bending and tensile strength. Man-made fibers of glass, kevlar and carbon are most commonly used today, but plant fibers offer considerable cost savings along with comparable strength properties. Plastic composites for automobiles are the second most important component of the hemp industry of the EU. The characteristics of hemp fibers have proven to be superior for production of molded composites. In European manufacturing of cars, natural fibers are used to reinforce door panels, passenger rear decks, trunk linings, and pillars. In 1999 over 20,000 tons of natural fiber were used for these purposes in Europe, including about, 2,000 tons of hemp. It has been estimated that 5–10 kg of natural fibers can be used in the molded portions of an average automobile (excluding upholstery). The demand for automobile applications of hemp is expected to increase considerably, depending on the development of new technologies. C-class Mercedes-Benz automobiles have more than 30 parts made of natural fibers, including hemp.

Building Construction Products: Thermal Insulation. Thermal insulation products are the third most important sector of the hemp industry of the EU. These are in very high demand because of the alarmingly high costs of heating fuels, ecological concerns about conservation of non-renewable resources, and political-strategic concerns about dependence on current sources of oil. This is a market that is growing very fast, and hemp insulation products are increasing in popularity. In Europe, it has been predicted that tens of thousands of tonnes will be sold by 2005, shared between hemp and flax (Karus et al. 2000). Fiberboard. In North America the use of nonwood fibers in sheet fiberboard (“pressboard” or “composite board”) products is relatively undeveloped. Flax, jute, kenaf, hemp, and wheat straw can be used to make composite board. Wheat straw is the dominant nonwood fiber in such applications. Although it might seem that hemp bast fibers are desirable in composite wood products because of their length and strength, in fact the short fibers of the hurds have been found to produce a superior product. Experimental production of hemp fiberboard has produced extremely strong material. Cement (Concrete) and Plaster. Utilizing the ancient technique of reinforcing clay with straw to produce reinforced bricks for constructing domiciles, plant fibers have found a number of comparable uses in modern times. Hemp fibers added to concrete increase tensile strength while reducing shrinkage and cracking. Whole houses have been made based on hemp fiber. In North America, such usage has only reached the level of a cottage industry. Fiber-reinforced cement boards and fiber-reinforced plaster are other occasionally produced experimental products. Hemp can also be chemically combined with materials. For example, hemp with gypsum and binding agents may produce light (weight) panels that might compete with drywall. Hemp and lime mixtures make a high quality plaster. Hemp hurds are rich in silica (which occurs naturally in sand and flint), and the hurds mixed with lime undergo mineralization, to produce a stone-like material. The technology is most advanced in France. The mineralized material can be blown or poured into the cavities of walls and in attics as insulation. The foundations, walls, floors, and ceilings of houses have been made using hemp hurds mixed with natural lime and water. Sometimes plaster of Paris (pure gypsum), cement, or sand is added. The resulting material can be poured like concrete, but has a texture vaguely reminiscent of cork—much lighter than cement, and with better heat and sound-insulating properties. An experimental “ceramic tile” made of hemp has recently been produced.

Animal Bedding: The woody core (hurds, sometimes called shives) of hemp makes remarkably good animal bedding. The hurds are sometimes molded into small pellets for bedding applications. Such appears to be unsurpassed for horse bedding, and also make an excellent litter for cats and other pets. The hurds can absorb up to five times their weight in moisture (typically 50% higher than wood shavings), do not produce dust (following initial dust removal), and are easily composted. Hemp bedding is especially suited to horses allergic to straw. In Europe, the animal bedding market is not considered important (Karus et al. 2000), but in North America there are insufficient hemp hurds available to meet market demand.

Geotextiles: “Geotextiles” or “agricultural textiles” include (1) ground-retaining, biodegradable matting designed to prevent soil erosion, especially to stabilize new plantings while they develop root systems along steep highway banks to prevent soil slippage; and (2) ground-covers designed to reduce weeds in planting beds (in the manner of plastic mulch). For example, the widespread current use of plastic netting to reinforce grass sod is quite objectionable, the plastic persisting for many years and interfering with lawn care. Hemp based geotextiles are biodegradable.

Oilseed Uses: Canada is specialized on oilseed production and processing, so that hemp oil and grain are much more suitable than fiber. Because of the extensive development of oilseeds in Canada, there is extensive capacity to produce high-quality cold-pressed hemp oil. Canada in the last 5 years has made great advances in the growing, harvesting, and processing of hempseed, and indeed has moved ahead of the EU in the development of raw materials and products for the natural foods, nutraceuticals, and cosmetics industries.

Food: Dehulled (i.e. hulled) hemp seed is a very recent phenomenon, first produced in quantity in Europe. Hemp seeds have been used as food since ancient times, but generally the whole seed, including the hull, was eaten. Hemp seed was a grain used in ancient China, although there has been only minor direct use of hemp seed as food by humans. Peanut-butter type preparations have been produced from hemp seed in Europe for centuries, but were rather gritty since technology for removing the hulls was rudimentary. Modern seed dehulling using mechanical separation produces a smooth, white, gritless hemp seed meal that needs no additional treatment before it is consumed. It is important to understand, therefore, that the quality of modern hemp seed for human consumption far exceeds anything produced historically. This seed meal should be distinguished from the protein-rich, oil-poor seed cake remaining after oil has been expressed, that is used for livestock feed. The seed cake is also referred to as “seed meal,” and has proven to be excellent for animals. Hemp seeds have an attractive nutty taste, and are now incorporated into many food preparations, often mimicking familiar foods. Those sold in North America include nutritional (granola-type) or snack bars, “nut butters” and other spreads, bread, pretzels, cookies, yogurts, pancakes, porridge, fruit crumble, frozen dessert (“ice cream”), pasta, burgers, pizza, salt substitute, salad dressings, mayonnaise, “cheese,” and beverages (“milk,” “lemonade,” “beer,” “wine,” “coffee nog”). Hemp seed is often found canned or vacuum-packed. Alcoholic beverages made with hemp utilize hempseed as a flavorant. Hemp food products currently have a niche market, based particularly on natural food and specialty food outlets.

Industrial Fluids: Hempseed oil has been classified as a semi-drying oil, like soybean oil, and is therefore more suited to edible than industrial oil purposes. Nevertheless hemp oil has found applications in the past in paints, varnishes, sealants, lubricants for machinery, and printing inks. However, such industrial end uses are not presently feasible as the oil is considered too expensive. Larger production volumes and lower prices may be possible, in which case hemp oil may find industrial uses similar to those of linseed (flax), soybean, and sunflower oils, which are presently used in paints, inks, solvents, binders, and in polymer plastics. Hemp shows a remarkable range of variation in oil constituents, and selection for oilseed cultivars with high content of valued industrial constituents is in progress.

Biomass: It has been contended that hemp is notably superior to most crops in terms of biomass production, but van der Werf (1994b) noted that the annual dry matter yield of hemp (rarely approaching 20 t/ha) is not exceptional compared to maize, beet, or potato. Nevertheless, hemp has been rated on a variety of criteria as one of the best crops available to produce energy in Europe. Hemp, especially the hurds, can be burned as is or processed into charcoal, methanol, methane, or gasoline through pyrolysis (destructive distillation). As with maize (corn), hemp can also be used to create ethanol.

Wildlife Uses: Hemp is plagued by bird predation, which take a heavy toll on seed production. The seeds are well known to provide extremely nutritious food for both wild birds and domestic fowl. Hunters and birdwatchers who discover wild patches of hemp often keep this information secret, knowing that the area will be a magnet for birds in the fall when seed maturation occurs. Increasingly in North America, plants are being established to provide habitat and food for wildlife. Hemp is not an aggressive weed, and certainly has great potential for being used as a wildlife plant. Of course, current conditions forbid such usage in North America.

These are just some of the uses for industrial hemp. I don't have room to list more, but this gives you some idea on what we're missing by keeping marijuana and hemp illegal. All of this comes from a single plant, that can grow under adverse weather and soil conditions, is naturally resistant to insects, and grows so thick it kills any undergrowth. And in the South, could probably harvest three times a year. What farmer wouldn’t like that? And what Dove hunter wouldn’t want to sit over that field?

More than 20 states are already ahead of us. By legalizing marijuana, Alabama could potentially save $95 million in law enforcement and incarceration. It could potentially generate $50+ million in tax revenue. And if Alabama legalized industrial hemp, established processing facilities for the various uses of the plant, created manufacturing facilities to produce a final product, and retail outlets to sell those products, the potential for job growth and income is astounding.

Hemp could be Alabama's next billion dollar crop.

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Life in prison for selling marijuana: Meet the people new pot laws forgot

SWAT Team Raids Home, Kills Man Over $2 Worth of Pot

Marijuana is Now Legal in Oregon

Hunting Blind Made Out Of Marijuana, Oklahoma Game Warden Says

Industrial Hemp

Industrial Hemp in the United States: Status and Market Potential

 

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4 August 16

I received an anonymous letter the other day claiming to be from a group of citizens who have several concerns about actions taken by the Conecuh County Board of Education and the County Commission relating to the purchase of the former Schneider facility on Ted Bates Road - among other things.

These individuals don’t seem to be happy.

My family once had problems with the Board of Education and our public education system in Conecuh County.

For those who don’t remember, my son was bullied at school and beaten up on the bus. After getting off the bus bloody one afternoon, my wife had a chat with the temporary bus driver (who had an extensive criminal history and should not have been driving a school bus), and was subsequently arrested for “Obstructing Governmental Operations.”

Even though District Attorney Tommy Chapman dropped the case against my wife, the Board of Education backed the bus driver - and even gave her a promotion!

I removed our children from the public education system.

Then I launched a one-man campaign in this newspaper against Superintendent Ronnie Brogden to expose the poor condition of our educational system and oust him from office.

I would say it succeeded. He won re-election, but chose not to serve out his term.

By the time I was done, the parents in this county were a lot wiser concerning the political shenanigans, the racial makeup, and the social and educational failures of our public education system.

After removing my family from the influence of public education, I’ve left the BOE alone and stayed out of their business. I was in hopes they would have learned the error of their ways, and if not, the parents of the children in our school system would hold their feet to the fire. It truly is up to them to make change happen.

From the letter that I received, it appears some parents believe politics and mismanagement are still a problem at the BOE, and they are raising their voice.

I’m happy to see it. Get louder! To the point you cannot be ignored.

It’s about time the people in this county joined together over common cause and stood up for better government - and a better place to live.

Good ‘Ol Boy politics by the establishment is not simply tolerated and ignored any more. The voters are tired of it.

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16 July 16

Ok, so Trump didn't pick Sen. Jeff Sessions as VP. But it was close. Keep in mind what the VP actually does; they preside over Congress. That takes someone who knows how to push legislation. Sessions certainly knows how to get that done.

But Trump still needs to pull votes in the General Election and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence could help make that happen.

Besides, the liberal/progressive/socialists would probably spontaneously combust if we had a Vice President named Jefferson Beauregard... all the more reason Trump should have picked him.

The Democratic side of things continues to be as crooked as I predicted. Sanders was smart and held out until a decision was made by the FBI concerning Hillary's email scandal.

Man! Was the fix in on that one! Not so secret meetings between AG Loretta Lynch and potential First Husband Bill Clinton. A scathing report from FBI Director James Comey on how flippant Hillary is with our national secrets - and still no indictment.

Do you still have any question our government is out of control?

Next week starts the Republican convention and close behind that will be the Democratic convention. If you thought things were out of control before, wait until you see what happens next.

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7 June 16

I think we’re due for a hurricane this year.

The pattern appears to be swinging back to where it was a decade or so ago with the severe floods in Texas and major tornado outbreaks across the Plains. Hurricanes in the Gulf seem to follow that pattern.

People didn’t make movies about tornadoes in Kansas or write songs about the floods in Texas because they were rare occurrences.

Nope. They were all too common “back in the day.” And they seem to be common once again.

Just to be safe, it would be wise to prepare.

For those of us who were here during Hurricane Ivan, I’m reprinting the article I wrote back in September 2004 titled, “Surviving Hurricane Ivan.”

We were all a bit younger back then, and our children were, well... children.

I’ve been through many hurricanes, but Opal in 1995 and Ivan in 2004 caused a lot of damage for us here in Conecuh County.

My wife was pregnant with our first child when Opal came through, and our second was a bit over 1 year old when Ivan visited - and I wrote this story.

Let’s hope all this issue does is remind folks of what we went through, and that it’s not a forecast of what’s to come.

Hurricanes are not just storms. They are Events. People act differently when these things occur. If you prepare now, you can avoid the traffic jams on our highways, and in our grocery stores.

Above all, be safe. Be prepared.

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28 May 16

Check out this list of Hollywood actors and decide who's movies or television shows you'll never watch again. Dick Van Dyke supporting the avowed Socialist! That one hurts. I could almost forgive him if it was Hillary - but Bernie? Mary Poppins will never be the same. But then again, Disney isn't the Disney it used to be. Disney used to care about the United States. Now they fire Americans and hire Indians to replace them. Sad...

Celebrity endorsement tracker

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17 May 16

Who do I predict will be Trump's pick for Vice President? Jefferson Beauregard "Jeff" Sessions III

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16 May 16

I said this would happen. I still predict Sanders will be the Democratic nominee and Elizabeth Warren will be his pick for VP.

Hillary Clinton keeps losing. So how come she's winning?

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If you haven't watched this on our Video Page, you should watch it now.

 

5 May 16

We are at an interesting time politically in Conecuh County.

We now have three lame-duck Commissioners who are on their way out of office, and a fourth Commissioner facing a challenger in November.

Last month in this column I recited a partial list of bad decisions made by this Commission. Decisions that cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars, displayed a lack of due diligence concerning individuals and businesses the county chose to do business with, and decisions that appear to have been made for purely political reasons.

This Commission, with it’s current members, will remain in office until November giving it ample time to make many more decisions that will effect the people of this county.

The individual members now have a choice to make. They can do nothing and ride out their term; they can continue with their alliances and the past decision making processes that got them voted out of office; they can totally stick it to the people; or they can work towards political redemption by moving the county forward and make difficult decisions that would not have been politically expedient in the past.

Some members of this Commission appear to blindly believe anything members of their political alliances tell them - and do nothing to independently verify the information - except maybe talk to other politicos who have a vested interest in the outcome. They leave the due diligence to others - if they do it at all.

This approach to “leadership” has led to disastrous consequences in the past. The phrase, “He’s gold” comes to mind.

This Commission still has a chance to do good things. The right things.

The questions is, will it?

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15 April 16

Long-time readers of our newspaper are aware that during the past couple of years I've written about how we have all been purposely played against each other to sow civil unrest. How the race issue was manufactured. How the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., was the launching point - and necessary - since his achievements had actually gained black people equal protection under the law. (Few know a Memphis jury in 1999 found government involvement in the assassination, and falsely believe King was killed by a white supremacist.)

Left alone, racial harmony could and would have been achieved, but the Socialist underground taking over the Democratic Party needed to make sure that although blacks now had equal protection under the law, social integration must be stymied at all costs.

Divide and conquer had begun.

You've heard me speak of Bill Ayers and the Weather Underground, George Soros, the billionaire Socialist behind the funding of the Ferguson, New York, and Baltimore "protests." The man now behind the invasion of Europe by Arab "refugees."

I showed you the trail on how Ayres and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn, went from the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list to being Professors at some of our country's Ivy League colleges. How they helped launch Barrack Obama's political career.

Not that I was leading the pack in gathering this information - I wasn't. But now, more and more people are becoming aware of what's going on in our country.

I do not agree with everything this guy says in this video. People are just now starting to connect the dots. Our mainstream media is totally useless and part of this deception - and this guy is gathering his own information and coming to his own conclusions. However, a lot of what he presents supports and verifies much of the information I've presented in past issues of our newspaper.

One thing is certain. The core of this information is true. That in itself shows how messed up our country is and how dire our circumstances truly are.

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8 April 16

There’s a lot I could say about the leadership in Conecuh County. Unfortunately, not much of it would be good and it stands on it’s own record.

We have an election Tuesday for County Commission. Municipal elections are scheduled for August, and we have a Presidential election in November.

What have we had over the past four years in Conecuh County?

If you remember, four years ago the Repton anti-landfill group, Citizens for a Clean Southwest Alabama, CCSA, pushed for and supported select candidates (some of them actual CCSA members) to elected positions of county office. As a result of that effort, four of the five members of our County Commission were replaced.

What has that Commission done? Have you been paying attention? If you’ve been reading this newspaper, then you know the answer.

$175,000 taxpayer dollars gone, just gone, in a bad deal with the City of Evergreen’s Industrial Development Board, and no effort whatsoever to recover it.

Pays $25,000 a year to an Industrial Development group to represent our county, yet allowed the head of that group to represent the seller in a deal he proposed to our county. And even threatened a lawsuit against the county on behalf of the seller!

Wanted to just give away $125,000 each to Repton, Evergreen and Castleberry - and one commissioner (and former President of CCSA) even said the county, “owed Repton $649,000.00 for the wrong decision made by the previous Commission.”

Those would be your tax dollars.

There’s the BIOTAP deal with the disappearing number of employees that was approved by the Commission, and thankfully cancelled by the County’s Industrial Development Authority.

Then there’s The Lake Project, chaired by Repton Mayor Terri Carter, that has withered and just about died under their (lack of) leadership.

Unfortunately, this is but a partial list. Again, if you’ve been reading this newspaper, then you’ve followed along these past four years and you know where we stand.

Who can we thank for how well this Commission has performed?

Maybe last time around the voters listened to the wrong people.

Please go to the polls and VOTE this Tuesday, this August and this November.

Jim Allen
Owner/Publisher

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Where Are We Going?

Opinion
By: Jim Allen
CONECUH COUNTY-If you have any doubt the United States is about to head down a very rocky road, then you haven’t been paying attention.

When our choices for president are between an avowed Socialist, a crooked career politician trapped in a fake marriage, a preacher’s son (born in Canada) with a God complex, and a New York socialite businessman, you gotta know we’re in trouble.

When we have to look to this caliber of person to “save America,” then we’ve sunk pretty low.

No matter who wins, both political parties have lost all credibility by the way they are conducting this election. The Republicans (the media and the Democrats) are deathly afraid of Donald Trump. The Democrats, who cultivated and nurtured a Socialist welfare nanny state, are now afraid of the Socialist Frankenstein Monster they created (and personified by Bernie Sanders) now taking over the Democratic Party.

A Sanders or Clinton presidency means we continue to move to the Left as a nation. Clinton will be the last recognizable “Democratic” candidate for President the Party will ever produce. In the future, the name may be “Democratic Party,” but the candidates will all be Socialists.

There’s something slimy about Ted Cruz that I just can’t put my finger on. And for the Life of me, I can’t get past how he looks like Grandpa Munster’s offspring.

That leaves Donald Trump as “the last hope” for a conservative America and traditional American values. You remember, the things that truly made this country great. Saved the Free World during World War II. Put men on the moon. Came up with the idea and philosophy that all men are created equal - but you have to earn respect - it’s not an entitlement.

But Trump is a wildcard. Some of his ideas are good, but no one knows what he’ll really do.

Sanders is right about a lot of our nation’s problems, but Socialism isn’t the way to solve them. Far Left Socialist ideals are what lead to many of the problems we face today, with rampant Political Correctness and Social Justice Warriors run amok. Both have served to create a mob mentality and bring an end to free speech. And now even corporate America has taken up the cause of the Social Justice Warriors by threatening any state with economic sanctions that takes up a law their liberal elite disagree with. Who needs a state legislature when we have Hollywood dictating our laws... and our (corrupt) moral compass?

They call it Democracy - but it’s actually Fascism. You know, kind of like what Hitler did in Germany. He was a Democratic Socialist too. Just like Bernie.

So what does this mean to Conecuh County? It’s called Independence - and self-reliance.

When our own state Legislature and liberal Montgomery media are more concerned with raking Governor Bentley over the coals concerning an affair he and his wife settled more than a year ago, instead of focusing on conducting the state’s business for all of the people of this state, it’s not the Governor who is doing a dis-service to the people of Alabama, it’s the Legislature and liberal corporate media.

Conecuh County needs to take care of itself and ignore fools who chase squirrels. We have real problems to solve - and real business to conduct - and it’s time we elect people across the board, in every office, who are more concerned about our future and our communities, than at playing the Big Fish In A Small Pond.

The people of this county need advocates in office who will bend government to the people’s will, and not someone who instead becomes a part of government’s crony Capitalism and joins the club of “us ignore them, because we know what’s best.”

Go to the polls Tuesday, April 12th and vote for the candidate of your choice. But, before you vote, make sure your choice is more concerned about protecting the people of this county - and not just a select group of friends, family, and business associates.

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15 March 16

I really like this guy. Someone who understands what America is really about - and someone who cares.

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7 March 16

Is Conecuh County starting to wake up!?! Finally?

In some ways I believe it is - but we still have a long way to go. There are still a few elected officials that need to be flushed out so we can head in a direction that benefits all the citizens of Conecuh County - and not just line the pockets of a select few at the expense of the taxpayers.

Have you ever noticed that nothing seems to get done around here, but as election time rolls around we all hear a lot of talk about how, “great things are about to happen, but we just can’t tell you what they are.”

What they are really saying is, “Just vote me in for another term so I can keep doing what I’ve been doing.”

How many times are the voters going to fall for that? Are the people of Conecuh County really that naive? So far, every election, we have been.

I’ll tell you what, during a non-election year, bring in industry that puts 200 to 500 people to work, and I’ll bust my butt to help you get re-elected.

Work to bring that lake here as hard as you worked to keep that landfill out, and I’ll sing your praises ‘till the cows come home.

As it is, Conecuh County is like the blind hog who occasionally finds an acorn. But mostly, we just go hungry.

We have a runoff election April 12th that could bring some positive change to our County Commission and our Board of Education.

In August, there will be an election in the City of Evergreen.

We need change. We need industry. We need a lake.

The people we’ve chosen in the past to get us there have failed to get it done.

It’s that simple.

It’s time to give someone else a chance. And if they can’t make it happen, then out they go and someone else goes in - until we get it right.

It’s time for new ideas. It’s time to change our ways - or we will never move forward. Keeping things the same will only keep us where we are.

Is that what you want?

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1 March 16

Who's doing the race baiting and hate mongering? This is ridiculous.

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14 February 16

I haven't said much lately. To be honest, I'm astounded, surprised, concerned, that a lot of what I've reported over the past year – and the predictions I've made based on those reports – is coming true.

I wish they weren't.

I am an Independent Conservative – not a Republican and not a Democrat. My opinion of government is based upon this political point-of-view. I am also a realist... things “are what they are” and human nature is human nature - and race, religion or national origin is irrelevant when it comes to human nature.

That means I don't care what color you are or where you come from. We're all in this together.

More than a year ago I told you Hillary Clinton would not be the Democratic nominee for President. Everyone scoffed, “that Jim Allen must be out of his mind.” While that may be true, I presented the information I uncovered concerning the Socialist/Communist infiltration of our college system in the 1960s by the terrorist group the Weather Underground and the Black Panthers. I showed how Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, leaders of the Weather Underground, went from topping the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list to not only teaching at our Ivy League colleges, but actually in charge of creating text books and curriculum that was forced upon our K-12 schools by the federal Department of Education. They even helped launch Barrack Obama's political career.

(If you don't remember any of this information, just Google it. You'll see for yourself.)

I showed how on one end of our educational system they were dumbing down our K-12 while indoctrinating and converting higher education students to Socialism.

Over the past 50 years Socialism has permeated our society, our media and our government.

What was the Democratic Party is now the Socialist Party, and what was the Republican Party has become the New Democratic Party.

Blue Dog Democrats, moderate conservatives – and most of the American public – are left without representation.

So what do we have leading the charge in the race for President? A far-left Socialist (disguised as a Democrat) and Trump, who is putting forth the right message for middle America, but presenting it in the wrong package.

I just don't like Rubio and Cruz. Rubio is too young, and there's something slippery about Ted Cruz. I like Ben Carson, but he's just too laid back. Jeb Bush can go pound sand. The best middle-of-the-road candidate is Kasich – but he's overshadowed by Trump's bravado.

I liked Rand Paul. I just wish he would have stood up on the issues like Trump at the beginning of this campaign and perhaps there wouldn't have been a need for Trump to even enter the race.

But we have Trump and Sanders.

The fix is in for Sanders – even though the democratic establishment is rigging the system for Clinton. Which is what you'd expect from a group of career political crooks.

Don't believe me? Watch the delegate count. Clinton will score high even though Sanders wins the popular vote.

But I called it a year ago, the indoctrinated Socialist youth brain washed through our college system, every radical group from Black Lives Matter, to the New Black Panthers, to PETA, will back Sanders and he will be the Democratic nominee.

To the young, Clinton represents the establishment – which they've been “trained” to despise. Not only that, it's human nature to rebel against authority in our youth, so the Socialists have had receptive minds to mold into their image.

Clinton has more political baggage than Imelda Marcos had shoes. For those young folks who don't know what I'm talking about... look it up.

Bill and Hillary Clinton have baggage going back to Arkansas when he was governor. Actually... even before that. The Clintons have covered up so much garbage that anything they say is a lie. Not a word can be believed.

As this campaign moves forward, more and more of Hillary's lies and misdeeds will be brought to light – and it won't be pretty.

This has all been planned. It's part of the Socialist take over. Whether you recognize it or not, it's the same group, the same plan, that put Obama in office. That same group will make sure Sanders is the nominee.

It will be at that moment that America will make a choice. To cease to exist, or to hold our nose and vote for Trump, hoping our country can survive long enough to regain it's balance and continue as a strong nation based on the Ideals put forth by our Founding Fathers and laid out in our Constitution. But perhaps most of all, what it means to be a proud American.

Some of us seem to have forgotten – some of us were never taught – and some of us have rolled over like lap dogs.

It's time to stand up for America. There is no such thing as Irish-American. You are either Irish – or you're an American. There is no such thing as Hispanic-American. You are either Hispanic – or you're an American. There is no such thing as African-American. You are either African – or you're an American.

These are all Politically Correct terms created to divide us – and conquer us.

It's time we were all Americans.

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Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Simple Definition of socialism

  • : a way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies
  • Full Definition of socialism

  1. 1 : any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
  2. 2a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
  3. 3 : a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done

 

From Diffen.com (Compare Anything)

Critics of socialism tend to focus on three factors: the loss of individual freedom and rights, the inefficiency of planned or controlled economies, and the inability to establish the constructs socialism theorizes are ideal.

Based on long-term growth and prosperity, planned or controlled economies typical of socialist states have fared poorly. Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek noted that prices and production quotas would never be adequately supported by market information, since the market in the socialist system is basically non-reactive to prices or surpluses, only to shortages. This would lead to irrational and ultimately destructive economic decisions and policies. Ludwig von Mises, another Austrian economist, argued that rational pricing is not possible when an economy has only one owner of goods (the state), as this leads to imbalances in production and distribution.

Because socialism favors the community over the individual, the loss of freedoms and rights is deemed undemocratic at best and totalitarian at worst. Objectivist philosopher Ayn Rand stated that the right to private property is the fundamental right, for if one cannot own the fruits of one's labors, then the person is always subject to the state. A similar argument raised by supporters of capitalism, and therefore often by critics of socialism, is that competition (considered a basic human trait) cannot be legislated away without undermining the will to achieve more, and that without proper compensation for one's efforts, the incentive to do well and be productive (or more productive) is taken away.

Socialism is often criticized for tenets that are not socialist, but rather communist or a hybrid of the two economic systems. Critics point out that the "most socialist" regimes have failed to deliver adequate results in terms of economic prosperity and growth. Examples cited range from the former U.S.S.R. to current regimes in China, North Korea, and Cuba, most of which were or are more on the communist end of the spectrum.

Based on historical evidence from communist governments, to date, extensive famine, severe poverty, and collapse are the end results of trying to control an economy based on "5-year plans" and assigning people to jobs and tasks as if the country were a machine rather than a society. A common observation about particularly restrictive socialist or communist economies is that they eventually develop "classes" with government officials as "the rich," a fringe-like "middle class," and a large "lower class" composed of workers, which supporters of capitalism are often quick to point out are the same structures socialism eschews as "exploitative."

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22 Jan 16

I’ve been telling you for more than a year how the United States has been moved to the left of the political spectrum by a conspiracy of Socialists dating back to the 1960s. It was a year ago in this newspaper that I told you about Ferguson, and how George Soros, a billionaire (Socialist) democrat money-man forked out $33 million to support groups like the Revolutionary Communist Party and bussed outsiders into town to stir up trouble. He succeeded.

(It took "main stream media" a year to catch on to what I told you a year ago.)

Soros and his army of NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) are also behind the flood of “refugees” currently taking over Europe. All those “humanitarian” groups handing out maps, government welfare forms, and cash to those refugees are funded by Soros’ money. Do the names Open Society, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch ring a bell?

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban fenced off his country’s border with razor-wire, and condemned Soros (who is from Hungary) and said, ”His name is perhaps the strongest example of those who support anything that weakens nation states, they support everything that changes the traditional European [American] lifestyle.”

Our federal government and our larger cities are are full of people like Soros who want to “fundamentally change” our way of life in the United States.

They want us scared and confused. They want us to blame our neighbors for our plight, and not them, those who were elected to solve it. They are the elite. The educated. The blatant liars and cheats who professionally run for office.

There is no doubt in my mind that this upcoming presidential election will decide the very existence of the United States. Will it survive as the proud country those of us over 50 have cherished, or will it’s greatness diminish into a European-style Socialist dictatorship run by corporate sponsored bureaucrats?

If we make the wrong choice, prepare to lose your heritage, your culture, your guns, your Constitutional rights, and your freedom.

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10 Jan 16

I look at a lot of stuff on the Internet. I like to dig deep and look for information from local sources. I DO NOT depend on any nationally broadcast news or major news outlets for my "core" information. Everyone looks at foreign news outlets as "propaganda" and thinks, "Oh yeah, their government controls their news." And in fact, generally that's correct. But they never think - or believe - that our news services are also spewing propaganda slanted towards Washington's positions. And it's as obvious as the nose on your face. Our nation's media is bought and paid for and they cover-up for our government and the hand-picked elite.

I've got to give one thing to Donald Trump. He's thrown our political process into chaos and everyone's running scared. And I mean everyone. Republicans and Democrats alike. The very possibility that the Socialist rise to power in the United States may come to an end has got our news media in an absolute frenzy - which is exposing their bias for all to see.

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7 Jan 16

County WILL NOT Be Repaid $175,000 Borrowed By Industrial Development Board By January 1st As Promised

By: Jim Allen
CONECUH COUNTY-Commission Chairman Johnny Andrews told a small group gathered for the December 23, 2013 Commission meeting that the county would not be repaid the $175,000 loaned to the Industrial Development Board and borrowed at the request of Economic Development Authority Director Bobby Skipper, as the group had promised.

The money, along with another $175,000 borrowed from the City of Evergreen under the guarantee that it too would be repaid by January 1st, was to be used to help launch the start-up company Evergreen Wood Products at the former Gerber facility in Evergreen.

The $350,000 was part of a total of $600,000 provided to the IDB and Evergreen Wood Products to upgrade the facility and prepare the company to launch operations by 2014. Within weeks of receiving the funding, Skipper and the IDB again asked for more funding, this time in the form of securing a loan in the amount of $3.4 million.

A Public Hearing concerning that funding was held December 19th and could best be described as a Public Relations disaster. That Public Hearing went so badly that a vote by the Commission concerning it's share of the $3.4 million ($1.7 million) was not even on the agenda for today's Commission meeting.


Here we are three years down the road and the taxpayer's money still has not been returned.

We don't have a lake either - and no prospects for one.

With a local election coming, there's a lot of chatter about our county's problems. What direction our County Commission should take, what needs to happen in our educational system? What should the county do now that the money tap from the oil revenue has been turned off?

Who can best handle these problems - and local government's financial woes?

Let’s talk about our lack of economic development, the bad deals and the Red Herrings our elected officials have chased. Expeditions paid for with taxpayer dollars. Hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In May, after expressing my opposition to that last BIOTAP South deal presented to the Commission and the county's Industrial Development Authority, an elected official asked me what I thought we should do to attract industry if local government doesn't help foot the bill.

(By the way, BIOTAP South has since opened for business at an office near the hospital in Evergreen – and as far as I know, without the need of taxpayer assistance.)

My view is this; we've spent a lot of money and had no return on our investment. The Play Book the county has used for years hasn't worked, isn't working, and will not work.

We need to drastically change our approach.

Instead of giving away the farm or agreeing to terms of agreement that vastly benefit a company (or special interests) over the citizens of Conecuh County, we need to change Conecuh County into a place businesses want to come.

We can't spend our way into prosperity. Doesn't work for the federal government – won't work here.

The name of the game is cooperation.

Somehow, the people of Conecuh County need to find the right combination of people to elect who truly want to move our county forward in a way that benefits everyone. We don't need politicians who want to stack the deck with “Good 'ol Boys” in order to solidify their power base.

Generally, a term of office around here is four years. I'd like to see the people of this county come up with a Five Year Plan. A list of things for our elected officials to accomplish that would actually move Conecuh County forward.

Then let's see the people we elect do something. And if they aren't getting it done at the end of their term... we try someone else. Until we get the point across – or we get it right.

Here's my Top Five list of what Conecuh County needs:

1) We need the lake

The Committee presently in charge of the Lake Project should be disbanded – and a new group appointed. The Chairman of that (new) Committee needs to appear at least once per month before the Conecuh County Commission and report any progress – or lack there of – to the Commission and to the people of this county.

There is no industry, no amount of fast food restaurants, nothing our county can do that would rival the economic impact and raise everyone's standard of living more than having the Lake Project succeed.

Getting that lake should be Number One on everyone's list.

2) A fundamental change in public education towards citizenship

Instead of focusing only on meeting academic goals, our educational system should go “old school” and return to teaching our children to be proper citizens, and stress the skills and behavior necessary to be good stewards of our society and our environment.

Several years ago I proposed our school system take up the Five Themes of Citizenship (a real thing – look it up), and to stress those themes throughout K-12.

Those themes are: Honesty, Compassion, Respect, Responsibility, and Courage.

If we can instill these virtues in our children, the academics will take care of themselves, and our children will be better prepared to cooperate, participate, and contribute to society no matter their academic outcome.

Every graduating student should know how to get along with others, how to balance a check book, cook a meal, and wash their own clothes.

Home Economics should be mandatory for every student – along with Physical Education.

3) Vocational Education, Cooperation and Coordination

My understanding is that some of this is already taking place under the leadership of our new BOE Superintendent, Dr. Zickeyous Byrd.

Local government should coordinate with the BOE and Reid State Technical College to teach upper-class students a trade, whether it be carpentry, brick masonry, welding, automotive repair and assembly – or how to make cupcakes!

Not all graduating students will go on to college. In fact, most won't. But they will be turned loose onto the streets of Conecuh County and be expected to make it in Our World.

Our young people need to be well educated in how to be productive citizens. How to survive as adults, have a skill or trade, and how to provide for and raise a family.

Vocational education at the local level can work directly with area industry or with the state Department of Labor to shape the curriculum and choose the courses offered.

Whether it's teaming up with ThyssenKrupp, Airbus, Mercedes, Hyundai, Georgia Pacific, or Bob's Tree Service, our educational system needs to offer our students, and adults, an opportunity to obtain the basic skills necessary to find meaningful employment if not in Conecuh County, then within a 100 mile radius.

4) The Unit System

We've heard this talked about for decades – and was recently threatened at a County Commission meeting. Responsibility for our road system needs to be moved from the individual county commissioners to the county's Engineering Department under the Unit System.

Doing this will not only put an end to a lot of political bickering between members of the Commission, but would actually save time and money by scheduling both the use and the sale of county-owned equipment from one central location.

This is a common sense move. Who better knows what equipment the county needs – how to use it – and when to sell it, than the County Engineer? He already makes most of those decisions.

Commissioners threaten the Unit System, but none of them want it because it would force them to remove all the county's road equipment, dirt, sheds, or whatever they have stored (at home) on their personal property, and send it to the Engineering Department. All county road crews would report there as well.

The Unit System would eliminate the possibility of personal favors, “borrowed” county equipment, and end power plays between Commissioners who might want to hold up important county business in order to get their way on the purchase of a piece of equipment or a pet project in their district.

Being on the Unit System, at a minimum, would save money and promote honest government.

5) Citizen Involvement

It's obvious that unless there's a specific cause, most people just aren't going to show up for regularly scheduled meetings of local government. And you should. Not everything that goes on at these meetings is reported by local media.

But be that as it may, everyone can still have a strong influence on what local government does by just being aware of the issues, and talking to your friends, family and neighbors. Talk about it at church. Talk about it at the grocery store. Talk about the things I've mentioned here – or come up with your own ideas.

Conecuh County is a great place. It could be much better. It's up to the people – and the voters – to decide. Come up with your own Five Year Plan and spread the word.

We have to hold our elected officials accountable, and stop accepting the belief that things will never change. The people have to have hope that it can happen, that it will happen if we make it so, and that we'll no longer accept getting nothing done and lame explanations as “business as usual.”

If we can do these things, not only would Conecuh County be a place business and industry would want to come to, but it would be a place where our children could grow up and have a future.

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24 December 15

H.R.4269 - Assault Weapons Ban of 2015

If you watched the Democratic Debate, a portion of it became a "debate" as to which one of the candidates would begin regulating, outlawing and confiscating firearms faster than the other one. Of course they don't care what the Constitution says - or how the Supreme Court has ruled. This recent Bill should come as no surprise to anyone.

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And I'm sick and tired of politicians - ALL politicians - referring to the United States of America as "the Homeland."

I do not live in the Homeland!

This is the United States of America!

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16 December 15

Assad Can Stay, for Now: Kerry Accepts Russian Stance

Odd you didn't see anything about this in our broadcast national news media. A MAJOR CHANGE of position! Obama doesn't have a clue about foreign policy and makes it up as he goes along. Our President, and our national media, seem to believe that if you repeat a lie (or don't report the news) often enough it'll become true. Once again our President has to backtrack and eat crow - because he made the wrong decision in the first place. How many people have died while Obama chased Assad? Guess the Democrats don't want to talk about that.

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12 December 15

Call my opinion what you will, the Muslim religion is not compatible with western society, our country's Christian foundation and values, nor the rights and Ideals set forth in our Constitution (which only applies to citizens of the United States and not everyone on the planet). Islam is not a religion. It's what we in the United States used to recognize as a cult - it's a radical, oppressive way of life - it's a form of government. History has proven that the Muslim religion and western society (even a secular society, not just Christian) cannot co-exist in one place. No matter what the Socialists claim, our world is not based on rainbows and unicorns, and love and kindness will not solve every problem. Particularly this one. Our two ways of life can co-exist, just not in the same place. Muslim majority populations can live and thrive in their own countries - in the Middle East. We cannot destroy our own country by throwing open our borders and allowing any illegal, unrestrained, immigration from any country or nationality - or religion - when doing so amounts to infiltration instead of immigration. If ANY group enters the United States and chooses not to assimilate into OUR culture and abide by OUR laws, then that is not immigration. That is infiltration by a foreign enemy and must be stopped.

Watch what's about to happen(ed) in Germany in particular, and Europe in general, now that they have been flooded with Muslim "refugees." If we are not careful and come to our senses in this country, what you are about to see could soon be coming to a city near you.

(It starts: January 1st)

Women made to ‘run gauntlet’
in mass sexual attack in Germany

(and came here January 7th)

Police: Suspect Confesses To Shooting Officer,
 Says He Did It In Name Of Islam

 

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3 December 15

Can you believe it’s here? Christmas!!

It’s certainly been an interesting year. And a fast one too. Geez, they go by faster the older I get. Seems like a couple months ago it was just January.

We had such a great response with the coloring page in our Halloween issue that I thought I’d bring the Manger Scene coloring page back for this Christmas issue. It seems many people collect them and take them to church for the kids to color. One of the advantages of printing in black and white.

In the special sense of joy and happiness that Christmas brings, I’d like to sincerely thank each of you for reading our newspaper - and to all the advertisers we’ve had throughout the year for making this newspaper possible.

I encourage you to please keep them in mind as you shop for loved ones this holiday season. Your dollars play an important role in our local economy, and often makes the difference in keeping our small businesses alive.

Christmas is a time for family and good feelings towards friends and neighbors. Our lives may not always be filled with good times. In fact, times are difficult for many. But the Spirit of Christmas provides an opportunity for us to leave our troubles behind.

For a short time even adults can put their trust in Santa and Rudolph to take us to a place where the world is a much kinder place. A world filled with little worries and happy endings.

Many find warmth and comfort in celebrating the birth of Jesus, and reach out to others, family and friends, to share their feelings of joy and happiness.

This Christmas, may your days be filled with kindness from others, and may you be the shining light that puts smiles on the faces of those you love.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

By the way, this also happened:

Christmas celebrations banned in Somalia, Tajikistan and Brunei

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24 November 15

A couple of things to take note of; November 22 marked 52 years since the assassination of President Kennedy. It was not even a story on national news. It was yet another piece of history totally ignored and forgotten. You may also have noticed that the anniversary of the Iranian Hostage Crisis, (November 4, 1979), also failed to make the news. Other information not making Prime Time, Vladimir Putin, and President Assad, with assistance from Kurdish troops, are kicking butt in Syria and have ISIS and Al-Queda on the run. Good news!

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5 November 15

I was in grade school when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963. I was barely a teenager when I visited his gravesite at Arlington Cemetery in Washington D.C. As an adult, I was very lucky one year to be an invited guest at the JFK LANCER annual convention in Dallas, Tx., where thousands gather each year to investigate the assassination and commemorate a fallen President.

It was then that I got to tour Dealey Plaza, the site of the assassination. The sense of history was palpable - you can actually feel it in the air as you stand outside the School Book Depository, look across the plaza to the “grassy knoll” and to the concrete pedestal where Abraham Zapruder stood when he shot the now famous Zapruder Film of the assassination with his 8mm camera. A few feet away, in the roadway, a big black X marks the spot of the presidential motorcade, the moment Kennedy was shot.

The 6th floor of the School Book Depository has been turned into a museum where visitors can view a history of the shooting along with background on the many people and items associated with the assassination and it’s investigation. The area around the window dubbed, “The Sniper’s Nest” where Oswald is said to have fired the shots is re-created as it was that day in November in 1963.

The convention itself was an adventure. There were lectures for every variety of “enthusiast.” From the casually interested to the hardcore investigator, there was something there for everyone.

My favorite part... hanging out in the hotel bar which had a flavor all it’s own. The bar had been regularly used as a set for the filming of Chuck Norris’ television show, “Walker, Texas Ranger.” It had character.

On the nights I was there, it was filled with a variety of personalities. Some were loud - both in tone and attire. Some were quiet and common in appearance. As an observer, it was an interesting exercise trying to determine which one (or how many of them) was a government spook. I know there were at least two....

Jim Allen
Owner/Publisher

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4 February 16

For all practical purposes, the March 1st election will be THE election for our local races, unless there’s a run-off in some districts. Most Democrats running for office have no Republican challenger in November, although that’s not the case for Commission District 3 which does have a challenger.

But, for the most part, the March 1st vote and the April 12th run-off will decide who goes into office.

So I have to ask the question, “are you better off than you were four years ago? Is Evergreen and Conecuh County better off than they were four years ago?”

I’ve covered politics in Conecuh County for 30 years now. I’ve seen politicians come and go - but I’ve seen very little growth. By now you have to understand that just because you know someone, that doesn’t mean they’ll make a good elected official. In your mind they might be a “good person,” but that doesn’t mean they’ll make good decisions concerning the growth we need or wisely spend taxpayer dollars.

For the first time that I know of, during the past five years Conecuh County and it’s municipalities have had the benefit of a financial bonanza with the oil money. At one time, that income almost reached a million dollars per month.

Previously, and once again, Conecuh County is dirt poor.

So what happened to all that money? What did your elected official do with it?

Have any of your taxes gone down? Do you have better services? Is your road any better? Have you been able to get a job making a living wage? Are you satisfied with your child’s education, their safety at school, or your experience as a parent with school officials?

Has the person you voted for last time done what they said they would do - or made excuses for why their promises came up short?
On March 1st, use your vote wisely. It does count.

Our children’s future rests in the hands of those you elect.

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18 November 15

No Answer For Senators On Immigration History Of US Terror Suspects

How well are immigrants and refugees vetted by the federal government before they are settled in the United States? The true answer is hardly at all. Sen. Jeff Sessions and Sen. Ted Cruz sent a request to the Obama administration back in August asking just that question concerning 72 U.S. residents charged with terror-related crimes requesting details on their immigration histories. The Senators have not received a response.

"It is quite telling that this Administration — which seems to have unlimited resources to circumvent our immigration laws and further its executive amnesties — cannot find the time or resources to provide timely answers to these simple questions,” Sessions and Cruz wrote in a joint statement Tuesday. (The Daily Caller)

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9 November 15

Sanders: I'll go further than Obama on immigration orders

The promises begin so the Socialist can garner the Latino vote. I predicted this too. And don't be surprised if Hillary winds up indicted over, A) her email server and classified information, or B) Benghazi, as part of a cover-up for a CIA operation to provide missiles to Al-Queda in Syria. Somehow, Hillary will be compromised and Sanders will be the Democratic Nominee.

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1 Feb 16

Moron Republicans In Congress Want To Give President Unlimited War Powers

I can't believe Senate Republicans actually want to give the President unrestricted, unlimited powers to use our nation's armed forces anywhere in the world, for any length of time, and for any reason as long as they claim ISIS is involved.

Our government has gone mad.

Senate Joint Resolution 29 was introduced January 29th by Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, (R-K), with co-sponsors Daniel Coats (R-IN), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and Marco Rubio (R-FL).

Here is a listing of Senate JR 29 and other Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMF). You will see how open ended and unrestricted SJR29 is compared to other AUMFs:

Bill Texts

S.J. Res 29: A joint resolution to authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and its associated forces (Lindsay Graham's AUMF)
  • "The President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force in order to defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, its associated forces, organizations, and persons, and any successor organizations."
  • President has to submit a report to Congress every 60 days.

President Obama's Proposed AUMF

  • "The President is authorized, subject to the limitations in subsection (c), to use the Armed Forces of the United States as the President determines to be necessary and appropriate against ISIL or associated persons or forces as defined in section 5."
    • (c) "The authority granted… does not authorize the use of the United States Armed Forces in enduring offensive ground combat operations."
    • Section 5: "The term "associated persons or forces" means individuals and organizations fighting for, on behalf of, or alongside ISIL or any closely-related successor entity in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners"
    • Duration: "This authorization for the use of military force shall terminate three years after the date of the enactment of this joint resolution, unless reauthorized."
    • Repeal: "The Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 is hereby repealed."

2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force

  • "The President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations, or persons."

2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force – Iraq Resolution

  • "The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq and enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq."

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16 February 16

I'm glad I found the video of the Defense Attorney in the Evers case. I try to be fair and equal in what I present.

From a strictly Journalistic point-of-view, I was highly disappointed by the way the interview went. What I am defending here is traditional Journalism - which seems more and more a lost institution and a crumbling pillar of our country's foundation.

First off, these reporters, standing outside a federal courthouse, appear to have very little understanding of federal court proceedings and the indictment process. Traditionally, reporters specialize in these sorts of things; like sports, finance, or entertainment. It's called, "covering a beat." Covering federal court does not appear to be their "beat."

It's not a reporter's job to establish guilt - or innocence - in the court of public opinion when covering the subject of a news story. Establishing guilt is the job of the Prosecutor in a court of law. The accused is to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The job of a reporter is to report how events unfold - as they unfold. In other words, just tell the story (accurately) - both sides - and let the cow chips fall where they may.

It's not a reporter's job to attempt to sway how you "feel" about a story through the use of suggestive or open ended questions.

It's not a reporter's job to reach out into left field to elicit an emotional response in an effort to imply the "possibility of guilt" concerning the subject of a news event. In my opinion, trying to link the name "John Wayne Gacy" could be seen as an attempt at implying guilt by eliciting an emotional response and to establish negative name association in the court of public opinion.

Except possibly as a failed attempt to imply intent by the subject of this story, what in the world does the example of a Chemistry teacher poorly playing chess have anything relevant to do with the event that took place inside the courthouse - and did the reporter's question even make sense?

Experienced journalists call all these, "loaded questions."

John Wayne Gacy's horrible crimes took place in Illinois 44 years ago, and he's been dead 22 years.

How would this young reporter even be aware of John Wayne Gacy unless someone told her, before hand, to compare the two? Even the defense attorney (an elder gentleman) didn't know who she was talking about.

This is my problem with journalism today. It's not Journalism - it's spin.

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18 February 16

Venezuela increases petrol prices 6,000 per cent to $1.30 a litre

Say hello to the wonderfully Socialist country of Venezuela! This beautiful haven tucked away in South America and run by Socialist President Nicolas Maduro, just raised the price of gasoline from about 7.5 cents a gallon to about $4.91 a gallon. Which is very generous since the average minimum wage is about 32 cents an hour. (For those who want to know, a gallon equals 3.78 liters.)

By the way, Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world. And you thought it was Saudi Arabia...

Those Socialists really know how to run a country!!

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20 Feb 16

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Alabama teacher accused of sex tourism in Thailand faces house arrest | AL.com

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APD charges 18-year-old with murder of Evergreen Man | The Andalusia Star-News

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14 October 15

Well, it looks like the Socialist won the first Democratic debate. That should make everyone feel all warm and fuzzy.

The Socialist narrative is to tear down anything of power or wealth and promise the downtrodden "equality" and revenge. On the surface, a lot of what a Socialist says sounds great. The problem arises with how Socialism intends to accomplish these goals. Ultimately, everyone loses their Constitutional Rights "for the good of the many."

I said this would happen....

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WAKE UP PEOPLE!!

Here is some MUST WATCH video.

This is the city of Aleppo, Syria in 2009. This is the "oppressive regime" of President Bashar al-Assad.
Please note the prosperity evidenced by the number of vehicles on the streets. The number of Christian churches.
Notice the women dressed in western attire, and at 14:06 minutes into the video, notice the music is Jingle Bells.
To destroy this city, this culture, these people and this government, OUR GOVERNMENT is backing,
training, and arming the very radical Muslim terrorists who bombed the World Trade Center
and the same terror group we've been fighting in Afghanistan for 14 years!
 OUR GOVERNMENT is also backing and supporting the ISIS terrorists responsible
 for the beheading and torture of innocent Christians across the Middle East.
 All in an effort to bring down the Assad government.

Russia is not the "bad guy" in Syria. We are.

2,996 people were killed in the September 11 attacks.
 2,372 US soldiers killed in Afghanistan. 17,674 US wounded (2001-2012)
 
 And now WE support the Terrorists who did this!?!

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This is what your tax dollars and 5,368 American lives paid for

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The Obama administration is on the wrong side in Syria

10 October 2015

When one considers the Socialist point of view on how corrupt the United States is and how our country could decimate native American tribes, condone slavery, or overthrow governments around the world, all you have to do is watch today's news to find the answer.

The people, the citizenry, don't condone it.

It's put upon us by our government – and sold to us by Main Stream Media. Yet the people of this nation carry the burden – and the blame.

Last presidential term it was Bush. Today it's Obama who is desperately trying to overthrow a Middle Eastern country, and he and his cohorts have lied to, misdirected, and deceived the American public to do so.

The question is why? I'll leave you to fill in that blank.

Let's talk Syria.

I've been trying to make heads-or-tails out of the players inside Syria and need more than a scorecard to keep up. No wonder Trump didn't know who the players are. And any “real” American journalist who does, should be jumping up and down over this botched foreign policy.

I'll start from the beginning. Friend or Foe between countries in the Middle East dates back centuries. In simplest terms, it all has to do with religion. The Muslim religion. The Muslim religion is broken down into denominations – similar to Christianity with all it's varieties (Catholic, Baptist, Mormon, and on down the list). What's different is that each one of these varieties of Islam (Shia, Sunni, Alawite, etc.) hate each other and can't get along.

In Syria, after his father died in 2000, the current President, Bashar al-Assad, came to power in the usual way, a bit of strong-arm and a popular vote.

Now Syria, like other Arab nations, has bumped heads a couple times with Israel in the past (the Golan Heights sound familiar), but sided with the US against Saddam Hussein in the Gulf War. By general standards, under al-Assad and his father, Syria was/is a “moderate” Arab country run by a Parliament, not a dictatorship. Women were/are relatively free to do as they please and dress in attire other than fundamental Muslim garb, strict Sharia law is not enforced, and it's society is rather “western” compared to other Arab countries. Under Assad, people are allowed to practice other religions, including Christianity.

Religion-wise, al-Assad is an Alawite, a minority in the Muslim religion, while much of the country is Sunni and are fundamental Muslims. Al-Queda and ISIS are also Sunni Muslims.

So why would a moderate Arab country that sided with the US against Hussein in the Gulf War be a target for overthrow by our government today? Good question.

By “coincidence,” in recent decades these countries stopped trading oil in US dollars (known as the Petrodollar): Iraq, Iran, Libya, and Syria. Look what's happened to them. Iraq was invaded, Libya was destroyed, Syria is in turmoil, and Iran has been set up to fail with Obama's nuclear deal.

In 2010, largely supported and encouraged by the Obama administration, the Arab Spring came to life across North Africa and the Middle East. As these uprisings began, Obama sent the clear message the US would not stand behind any of the existing regimes, friend or foe.

Both the media and the Obama administration portrayed these uprisings as “pro-democracy movements,” and still do today.

As we saw in Egypt, a friendly (moderate) government was overthrown and the “pro-democracy movement” promptly elected members of the radical Muslim Brotherhood into power.

Several months later a military coup tossed out the Muslim Brotherhood and a military General took power. But for political/legal reasons the Obama administration refuses to call it a “military coup” so it can now "show support" for the former general. The new (moderate) government is still trying to bring Egypt under control, and has leaned towards Russia because it no longer trusts the US.

In Syria, the “pro-democracy movement” consisting of more hardline Sunnis (Al Queda) and radical (ISIS) Muslims turned against Assad and his moderate government. Syria's regional allies, Iran and Russia, began offering support.

In turn, the US began supporting Sunni hardliners who defected from the Syrian Army (known as the Free Syrian Army) and any other group who would oppose Assad, to include Al Queda (who we've fought in Afghanistan since 2001) and ISIS, who our own intelligence and military agencies created for “Shock and Awe” value. Again, does the Mujahideen and Osama Bin Laden sound familiar?

Haven't you ever wondered why US attacks on ISIS have been ineffective? Why it's been allowed to run rampant and prominently display horrific video of gruesome murders? Why Obama said the US has no strategy to combat ISIS? Called it, "the J.V. Team." Why a $500 million program only trained about 7 (seven) "Pro Democracy" fighters. (Remind you of $500 toilet seats?)

The extent of US and allied support for these terrorist groups, not just against a moderate Arab government in Syria, but across the Middle East and Africa, is beginning to surface.

When you see those terrorists riding in all those Toyota trucks, you now know it was your tax dollars and our State Department (Hillary Clinton ring a bell) that made sure they have transportation (and a few rockets from a place called Benghazi).

The Obama administration is on the wrong side in Syria.

We need to get out and let Russia clean up the mess. The “pro-democracy movement” the media and our government is selling us IS NOT the type of “pro-democracy movement” the average American would recognize. These "rebel forces" are not "moderates" who would move Syria towards a more "western" society. They would turn Syria into a fundamentalist Islamic nation.

In Syria, the only "moderate Muslims" are the citizens of Syria and the Assad government itself.

But in Syria, we find ourselves supporting the very terrorist we've been at war with for 14 years.

How absolutely stupid is that?

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4 October 15

If you live in Evergreen and need the police – call 578-1111

If you live in the county and need a deputy  – call 578-1260

If you live in Conecuh County and need an ambulance – call 578-6040

If you live anywhere in the county and you need a fire department – call 911

If all else fails, dial 911 and keep your fingers crossed.

For some mysterious reason no one seems to want to express – or admit – our E-911 operations in Conecuh County are in complete chaos due to in-fighting, political power plays, and who knows what else. No one is really saying why...

What is true is that just about every governmental entity in Conecuh County has abandoned the E-911 Operation Center, headed by it's Director Shawnee Booker. That includes the Castleberry Police Department, the Evergreen Police Department, The Emergency Management Agency (who hastily separated itself from E-911), and the Conecuh County Sheriff's Department.

In the past, there have been multiple complaints by Volunteer Fire Departments related to E-911 dispatching. Supposedly, those issues have been corrected.

That doesn't mean there still isn't animosity between the various agencies involved.

For instance, during virtually every E-911 Board Meeting I've attended, Shawnee Booker has made the allegation that E-911 has dispatched emergency calls to the Conecuh Sheriff's Department – and implied that dispatchers at the Sheriff's Department purposely failed to dispatch deputies to the call.

So far (until now), every news source has declined to quote her – or repeat her allegations.

After hearing this repeatedly from Booker at these meetings, perhaps I should contact Sheriff Randy Brock and ask for his response?

Inquiring minds want to know...

But would raking more mud into this situation solve any of the problems associated with our E-911 system? Let's put it this way, it probably couldn't get any more screwed up. But this is Conecuh County...

In my opinion, (after this next election) the entire E-911 System should be disbanded and rebuilt from the ground up.

But even that probably wouldn't solve our problems because in Conecuh County we're all about politics, power plays, personalities, hurt feelings, and lifetime grudges.

If you really want to know why Conecuh County isn't going anywhere – go back and re-read that last sentence. It also explains why E-911 is such a chaotic mess.

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4 Sept 15

Some very interesting meetings today for the County Commission who held a regular meeting, an E-911 board meeting, and a budget meeting.

Most of the regular meeting was rather routine until the matter of a board seat on the Ala-Tom Resource Conservation and Development board of Directors came up for discussion. On a rotation basis, one member of our County Commission is asked to fill a slot on the Ala-Tom board of Directors. That position is presently held by Commissioner Johnny Andrews. However, Commissioner Rodney Hildreth is scheduled to take over that post.

The confusion came when it was announced that Hildreth had asked Commission Chairman Leonard Millender to take his place. Needless to say, Commissioner Andrews was not pleased and expressed his desire to continue to hold that post. Andrews stated that he had been offered the position of Vice Chairman should he remain on the Ala-Tom board.

In the end, with tempers flaring and accusations flying, the Commission agreed to continue the rotation schedule and that Commissioner Hildreth would take the position himself.

The E-911 board meeting got interesting when the Commission - as members of the E-911 Board of Directors - voted unanimously to reject the City of Evergreen's letter of intent to abandon the E-911 Operations Center and begin dispatching from the Evergreen Police Department.

Commissioner Johnny Andrews made the Motion to reject the Letter of Cancellation claiming the Board had not received it within the time frame specified by the City's contract with E-911.

Again, needless to say, the E-911 operations are in disarray and the only things E-911 will be dispatching are the fire departments and ambulance service. The Operation Center may still dispatch Repton's police department, but will no longer be authorized to access the National Crime Information System (NCIC) to run tag numbers and search for Wants and Warrants.

At present, the Conecuh County Sheriff's Department does not dispatch through the E-911 Operations Center, and both Evergreen and Castleberry police departments are in the process of establishing their own dispatching systems, both fully authorized to access the NCIC system.

With the rejection of Evergreen's withdrawal from the E-911 system by the Board, the next meeting of the Evergreen City Council may be Standing Room Only. I can guess that meeting will be heated.

I actually missed the Budget meeting. I stepped out of the meeting room for about 20 minutes and when I returned it had already concluded.

The upshot... Conecuh County is out of money with the loss of the oil revenue. Last year's budget was $18 million. This next budget will be around $9 million. It got cut in half.

(The articles on these meetings at James Leon Windham's blog, Conecuh News And Views should be very entertaining.)

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5  Sept 15

When you see this issue don’t think I’m promoting the legalization of all drugs. That’s not the case. There are many out there that cause great harm to the person who consumes them - and to those around them.

I’ll be honest with you. I believe alcohol has caused more damage to more lives in our society than any other drug. It has ruined people, families, and taken the lives of thousands of innocent people as collateral damage brought on by the alcoholic.

Yet we celebrate it every day. And have no problem with it. So I’ll use that in my example.

If marijuana were alcohol, it’s about like a 3.2 beer compared to a chilled down fifth of Jose’ Cuervo. If it were a car, it would be a Volkswagen compared to a Ferrari. If it were a bullet, it’d be a .22 compared to a 30.06.

Our government, however, places marijuana in the same category as heroin.

After spending 60 years on this Earth and actually paying attention (most of the time), some things become self-evident. Our government is wrong.

As a society, we are shooting ourselves in the foot by not legalizing marijuana and hemp. We will never get rid of marijuana. Hasn’t happened in my lifetime, and ain’t gonna happen. So why are we still ruining young people’s lives and scarring families with drug raids and arrests over marijuana?

The enforcement of the drug law is causing more damage than the use of the drug. It’s that simple.

Hemp. Holly Cow! What a “wonder plant” that is!

Imagine a single, renewable resource that can be used for just about anything! It doesn’t pollute. It’s biodegradable. It can be food, shoes, canvas, particle board, cement, medicine, and fuel.

Most everything we use in our daily lives can be produced from hemp without the use of deadly chemicals and the final products don’t become hazardous waste when they outlive their usefulness.

But because it looks like marijuana - it’s illegal.

Are we ever going to wake up in this country?

Jim Allen
Owner/Publisher

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25 Aug 15

The Heyday is over. The county is out of money. Spare money anyway. And that fact was evident during last Monday's Work Session prior to the County Commission's regular meeting.

As the Work Session proceeded, County Administrator Judy Covan provided a proposed list of cutbacks and expenditures for various groups, organizations and causes outside the normal business of county functions.

That list included the County Extension Office, the HIPPY Program, the Community Action Agency, the Evergreen/Conecuh Library, Volunteer Fire Departments, and among others, Economic Development.

The upshot is most on the list will not receive the same amount of funding as they have in the past. In fact, some will receive no funding at all.

The most heated discussion came on the subject of Economic Development.

Ms. Covan said some $470,000 had been in the budget last year for Economic Development, however, that amount was being eliminated. Two of the Commissioners, Raz McCreary and Chairman Leonard Millender, questioned whether to continue paying Coastal Gateway Regional Economic Development Alliance an annual fee of $25,000.

The two most notable instances of Coastal Gateway's performance are the failed attempt to persuade the County Commission to purchase the former Landstar/Poole property on Ted Bates Road (where Coastal Gateway's Director, John Johnson, represented the “seller,” not the county, during a heated meeting of the Commission), and the recent unsuccessful BIOTAP deal.

Millender noted that surrounding county's may have profited by being associated with Coastal Gateway, however, “If I had to grade them... we ain't got nothing. We haven't gotten the bang for our buck,” he said.

Commissioner McCreary said that bringing industry to Conecuh should not involve the county, “going into partnership to start a business. They should have financing already in place.”

He also questioned the benefits of further participation with Coastal Gateway and was interrupted several times by Commissioner Johnny Andrews.

I don't know what hole you've had your head stuck in,” Andrews said to McCreary.

He then went on to say Coastal Gateway serves as a primary point-of-contact for prospective businesses, and that BIOTAP was only waiting for certifications. “They're coming,” Andrews insisted.

In relation to BIOTAP, Coastal Gateway Director John Johnson said during the regular Commission meeting that BIOTAP has changed their name to Medical Reference Laboratories.

A budget meeting has been scheduled for Monday, August 31st at 9 a.m. in the Commission chambers.

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20 Aug 15

Overall, local politics have been rather quiet. That generally means there's plenty going on, it's just happening behind the scenes. Eventually it boils to the surface.

There are a few things that should be addressed... the Evergreen City Council has redesigned the police patch to leave out the Confederate flag. Without a vote of the people (or a full City Council) they also raised taxes on every business, and person, within the Corporate limits – and those within the Police Jurisdiction; changed the name of Middleton Field Airport to remove the name of local hero 1st Lieutenant Lula M. Middleton, who died in action during WWII; and are backing yet another business loan for a client who apparently has no assets.

We've all been down that road before and lost $350,000 taxpayer dollars.

It appears the City's Industrial Development Board is letting mysterious, unknown businesses use the former Gerber/Evergreen Wood Products building both rent and utility free.

It pays to know people....

Evergreen's Economic Director Bobby Skipper has been back before the County Commission requesting more of the county's tax revenue, which could amount to as much as $500,000 per month. That amount happens to be more than the county's been getting in oil revenue in recent months.

The county doesn't exactly have the money to spare anymore.

The Conecuh County Board of Education wants to do away with electing a Superintendent, and got the County Commission to support the idea. Now it goes to our State Representatives to seek approval.

I could pounce all over this one, but I'll reserve judgment until a later time. Even if this might be a good idea, I don't care for losing my right to vote – either to vote for a Superintendent – or to vote for doing away with the position. Somehow here I feel my rights are getting ruffled.

Finally, let's talk E-911. Everyone in the county who owns a telephone is paying for the service, but for some (so far unexplained) reason, our major law enforcement agencies in the county are dumping the E-911 Operations Center like rats jumping off the Titanic. The Conecuh County Sheriff's Department hasn't used the Operation Center's services in years, and now the City of Evergreen is pulling the plug, taking their dispatchers and E-911 Board Member with them, and leaving the Operation Center without the authority to access the National Crime Information Center. During past E-911 Board Meetings, fire and rescue departments have complained about the dispatching from the Operations Center.

Keep in mind this Operation Center is responsible for sending law enforcement, fire departments and ambulances to YOUR HOUSE in times of emergency. If our government agencies can't depend on it, how can we?

With such a history of spotty service, perhaps the problem isn't with the dispatchers, but the leadership.

You can follow up on all these developments by visiting James Leon Windham's blog Conecuh County News And Views and read up on the details of all these public meetings.

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11 Aug 15

The Democrats Socialists continue to rewrite history. How long do you think it will be before they tear down our monuments in Washington? Be sure to read the comments accompanying this article. The rank and file (actual) Democrats are not happy with this decision.

State by State, Democratic Party Is Erasing Ties to Jefferson and Jackson

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23 July 15

Now, here is something interesting and verifies what I've been finding and telling you about the Socialist agenda. The CLOWARD-PIVEN STRATEGY.

Excerpts from the article:

First proposed in 1966 and named after Columbia University sociologists Richard Andrew Cloward and his wife Frances Fox Piven (both longtime members of the Democratic Socialists of America, where Piven today is an honorary chair), the "Cloward-Piven Strategy" seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse.

This was an example of what are commonly called Trojan Horse movements -- mass movements whose outward purpose seems to be providing material help to the downtrodden, but whose real objective is to draft poor people into service as revolutionary foot soldiers; to mobilize poor people en masse to overwhelm government agencies with a flood of demands beyond the capacity of those agencies to meet. The flood of demands was calculated to break the budget, jam the bureaucratic gears into gridlock, and bring the system crashing down. Fear, turmoil, violence and economic collapse would accompany such a breakdown -- providing perfect conditions for fostering radical change.

The key to sparking this rebellion would be to expose the inadequacy of the welfare state. Cloward-Piven's early promoters cited radical organizer Saul Alinsky as their inspiration. "Make the enemy live up to their (sic) own book of rules," Alinsky wrote in his 1971 book Rules for Radicals. When pressed to honor every word of every law and statute, every Judaeo-Christian moral tenet, and every implicit promise of the liberal social contract, human agencies inevitably fall short. The system's failure to "live up" to its rule book can then be used to discredit it altogether, and to replace the capitalist "rule book" with a socialist one. 

BTW, Hillary Clinton is a big follower of Saul Alinsky - and Bernie Sanders is a Democratic Socialist.

Interesting - and frightening!

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22 July 15

Ok folks, time to look past Obama and take a peek at the future. What do Democrats have to choose from? Not much. And if you're thinking Hillary Clinton... guess again. She'll never be the Democratic nominee. It's going to be Bernie Sanders and/or Elizabeth Warren, who isn't even running for president - yet.

Here's why - and some aren't going to like this analysis. The socialists (shadow government) used the black vote to elect the first socialist (lite) president. Hillary Clinton is a liberal democrat. When Obama was elected, he was to her left politically - and is now sprinting toward full-blown socialist in his second term.

The Socialists played the Race Card and used the black vote to gain the presidency and beat Hillary Clinton during the last election. Remember? Now that they (somewhat) have control, there will be no black man on the Democratic ticket for president. Do you see one in the wings? The only black candidates now are in the Republican Party.

After 2016 there will not be a black man in the White House. The black electorate will have to be swayed towards a white candidate. There is no other choice. That candidate will be Hillary Clinton. The black vote will be steered away from the Republicans at all costs.

But guess what? The Socialists are backing Bernie Sanders - not Hillary Clinton - and they are going to take the Hispanic vote with them. Watch the promises that get made to them as the election nears. When that happens, Bernie Sanders becomes the Democratic nominee - and he selects Elizabeth Warren as his running mate.

And then the black cause (and Hillary) gets kicked to the curb as their candidate loses the nomination. The black electorate will then be expected to vote for Sanders for president. Once in power, the Socialists use the Hispanics to flood our country and we all go down the tubes. After all, those illegal immigrants into our country have just as much right to it as we do.

You can tell how much the Hispanics support the black cause by their overflowing numbers at marches in Ferguson, New York, Chicago, Baltimore. Wait... I don't remember seeing any.

For those who don't know, Sen. Bernie Sanders was the Chairman of the Committee in charge of the Veterans Administration when it was learned our veterans were dying while waiting to see doctors (and still are), while the hospital administrators were forging documents so they could receive salary bonuses.

Here is Bernie Sanders and his fanatical group of Socialists. And speaking of commandeering the "black cause," one group of his supporters are calling themselves, "Occupy-colored People for Bernie."

Even I find that offensive...

Liberal activists see Bernie Sanders as champion for causes failed by Obama

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15 July 15

We will take America without firing a shot ... we will bury you!

“We can’t expect the American people to jump from capitalism to communism,
but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of socialism,
until they awaken one day to find that they have communism.

“We do not have to invade the United States, we will destroy you from within.”


Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushche

In case you can't tell, what's been happening in our country of late bothers me greatly. Some of it has become ridiculously silly and self-destructive.

Every bit of it is designed to divide us and force us to choose sides. The narrative being put forth by the Socialists is you either go along with us, or you're the enemy. There is no middle ground. No compromise.

It's either do what the Mob says, or you're a racist, you believe in slavery, you're a traitor to our country, and we'll attack you, insult you, threaten you, threaten your family, all because you are “intolerant.”

For years now, the Socialists have been searching for an issue that will truly divide us, and the push is on full force as we head towards the next presidential election.

When I talk about this socialist takeover of the United States, you have to understand that this is real, that it started long ago, and that it started small – but had precision planning. Those behind it learned the key was not a mass uprising, that was tried and failed in the 60s with the white youth on college campuses. No, after that attempt failed, the plan became long term and calculated, and the key to success would be to place “believers” in high places throughout all aspects of society and our political system.

They planted that garden in colleges all across the United States by establishing communist groups on campus and then began recruiting. (For proof, watch these videos.) Over the decades they subverted society while no one was watching, and their brainwashed converts graduated with degrees and moved into radio, television, law, finance, politics... and academia.

Over the years these professors instilled in our youth the blatantly liberal views we see today. They taught our children the United States is the “Evil Empire,” that the concept of moderation or abstinence was actually the heavy hand of “The Man's” oppression and they should disavow the moral codes of old. They were taught Life revolved around them and their needs and wants, that they should revel in extravagance and self-centered behavior, and that society – as it had been - should be changed to reflect the wants of the individual. The United States was evil, it's morals, traditions, history, and Ideals were oppressive, and it must change. They were taught God doesn't exist – and that Christianity is the practice of a weak mind.

In this way the communists created their army. Over time, what was once small, grew and flourished. And most of their army of socialist believers weren't even aware they were being used – are being used – to destroy America from within.

Those who chose to remain in academia moved higher and higher in position to the point they could control the text books, curriculum, policies, and purse strings of every public school in our country. Good teachers were forced to feed our children garbage, move away from subjects that instilled civic duty, patriotism, personal responsibility, and individual achievement, and instead, over the decades steadily developed standardized testing geared towards the lowest common denominator so that, “no child will be left behind.” The focus now is on achievement scores and graduation rates – and not on teaching a young person the skills and knowledge necessary for that individual to become a productive member of society.

In fact the curriculum was designed to change their mindset, warp their view of society and their personal behavior, all based on an entitlement mentality. If they don't succeed in school, or in life, then it's someone else's fault... the teacher's, or the parent's, or society's.

The fault can never be the educational system or the curriculum or the individual. It doesn't work that way.

By using our educational system against us – they have dumbed down America and weakened us even further.

No, I do not believe all of our schools are full of communists. That's absurd.

What I am saying is all public school systems have at least been influenced by the actions of the true conspirators who reside at the upper levels of government and academia.

Now as for our political system. We have one group that wants to give away the farm, and another that wants to make as much money as possible before our world caves in around us.

The Republicans have been bought off by big business, but the Democrats got a double dose of corruption. They have not only been bought off, but infiltrated by the Socialists.

Obama turned out to be a bit more of a Socialist than anyone knew, didn't he? And totalitarian.

He wants government regulating or spying on every aspect of our lives. I'll bet when he was elected no one expected their Christian values to be trashed. That you would be forced to accept the destruction of the traditional family unit and the concept of Holy matrimony between a man and a woman. Did you expect that our borders would be opened wide and non-Americans would be allowed to vote in our elections? He doesn't want Voter ID to protect the black vote, he doesn't want it so he can protect the illegal Hispanic vote! Did you think Obama would kick our nation's allies to the curb – and embrace our enemies? Did you think he would celebrate Muslim holidays, while degrading Christianity in his speeches?

I believe it would be safe to say today's Democratic Party doesn't represent the thoughts and beliefs of most democrats. The same can be said for the Republican Party. It doesn't represent most republicans.

In case you haven't noticed, it's all about “The Party” and not about what's best for this country. Republicans and Democrats constantly throw our country under the bus in order to do “what's best for the Party.”

Big business owns the Republican Party, but they also own the Democratic Party, which has also been infiltrated by the Socialists who want to gain complete control – and just about have using our media and our political system.

The Socialists (liberal whites) have brainwashed most of the black population into believing that conservative Christians and Republicans are racist and out to, “oppress the black man.” Just watch the news, they promote this falsehood every day.

They (white liberal/socialists) created and commandeered “the black struggle,” when there wasn't one after Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement, and convinced many black people to ignore the reality of equality they had achieved.

America was headed in the right direction following the Civil Rights Movement. For a generation or more blacks and whites came together, learned from each other, and moved forward together. Our country and our society was working as it should.

Then the likes of Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson came on the scene. They would be the perfect little helpers in the Socialist plan to destroy America – and make millions along the way as they sewed their discontent.

Blacks would be conditioned to ignore the long list of misdeeds, broken laws, and down right lies told by Sharpton and Jackson – and to ignore the fact that most of the harm done to the black race throughout America's history was done by the DEMOCRATIC PARTY.

People ignore the fact that it was the DEMOCRATS that created segregation, set the dogs, used the water cannon and beat the protesters.

You have to ask yourself, how did the political party that historically oppressed black folks suddenly become their Savior?

The Socialists took over the Party, then promoted the lie that society still viewed the black race as “inferior” and encouraged them to not “naturally” assimilate into society as we were in the process of doing, but to purposely segregate themselves, yet demand an equality that could never be achieved under those conditions.

Under the guidance of the Socialists and the gathering strength of their political tool, the Democratic Party, it suddenly became okay for a double standard to exist in American society.

It was now okay for there to be a National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, a Black Entertainment Network, black colleges, black college funds, black beauty pageants, black holidays, and even a black language known as Ebonics.

By law, whites are not allowed this same privilege.

All of this was done to further separate the blacks from the whites, create a horrible double standard, and pit one race against the other. They do not want us to trust each other so we will not work together for the betterment of us all.

The Socialists have used the black race in their effort to take over our country. Socialists now control most of it, both within our federal government, our media, and in our major northern cities. They have fermented black unrest with the ultimate goal of taking over our civilian police departments. And now they have used the “black cause” to attack an entire region of our country and part of our national heritage – the South - which still stands opposed to their Socialist Ideals.

This particular wedge may have finally hit pay dirt – and they know it. While they allow the Confederate Wedge to fester, watch as they now swing their support to the Hispanic cause. If you look you can see the same game plan to “empower” the Hispanic race that they used to “empower” the black race.

You see Hispanic television stations, radio stations, and political groups such as La Raza (The Race). Virtually every package you get at the store comes in Spanish. We have Sanctuary Cities where illegal aliens are allowed to hide from deportation. And all they need to vote in OUR elections is a water bill as proof of residence. Since they don't speak English, do you think their ballots are marked for them?

Does any of this sound familiar to you?

Even now, with the help of the Socialist movement, Hispanics claim that a President of the United States cannot be elected without their vote.

What's that say about the rest of us? Those of us who were born here or legally became U.S. citizens?

While they had blacks and liberal white folk marching behind banners promoting the Revolutionary Communist Party, U.S.A., the blacks didn't notice Obama opened the gates and flooded our nation with illegal aliens, and is now promoting yet another race of people – above both the blacks and the whites - to the detriment of our society and our nation.

They have already set enough in motion to disrupt relations between the blacks and whites, now they want to pile on the Hispanics and totally destroy the cohesiveness of our country.

Without a nation that speaks with one voice, we will be weak and doomed to failure. Everything I have described in this article has been done to pit us against each other and to bring us to where we are today.

We are on the precipice – the edge of the cliff. And we'd better wake up before it's too late.

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10 July 15

People, we are all being manipulated. We are losing our Constitutional Rights while being played against one another with the ultimate goal of destroying the United States as we know it. All of this garbage being propagated by the media and big business is being done to distract us from what's really going on. Ask yourself... if we keep headed in the direction we are now, what will be the ultimate result? A perfect world? Or chaos? Please don't fall for this. Please wake up to what's really going on and who's pulling the strings!

It took me a long time, and much research to figure this out. Actually, I discovered it by accident. I was just, "doing what I do," and when the Ferguson riots began, I started paying attention to what was driving the various "protests." How were they being organized, paid for, supplied with posters and banners. That's when I discovered the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA (read article here) was behind most of the large protests, much of which were funded by George Soros, a billionaire Socialist and Democratic Party money-man. Following that trail I discovered the notoriously Communist Weather Underground, and how it's membership ballooned and thrived throughout the 60s within our "Ivy League" college institutions. I discovered that for decades this group has been in control of creating the educational curriculum taught to our youth and has resulted in the "dumbing down" of America through our federal Department of Education. That department then rigged the system so that if we want government funding for our local educational system, we HAVE to teach whatever the Department of Education tells us to teach. HAS IT WORKED? Are we better off? Of course we're not! We're not supposed to be.

All you have to do is open your eyes and you can see the Socialist/Communist agenda all around us. The national Democratic Party has been infiltrated and taken over by the socialists. For goodness sake, Hillary Clinton's biggest challenger right now is Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a self-proclaimed Socialist! Look it up yourself. At least he's open about it. The others hide it so you won't know. They call it "progressive" to hide it's true meaning.

I know a communist takeover of the US is hard to believe, but look for yourself. Don't just listen to me. But don't discount it out-of-hand either. Before you jump to the conclusion that I've lost my mind (long ago), check what I say yourself.

Anyway, I continue my search to put the pieces together and it always seems to circle around to the 1960s. I found this in the Congressional Record from January 1963. Read over this and take note of what has happened over the years and what's happening today. Many of these "goals" have been achieved.

Before we go jumping through hoops of Political Correctness every time our media yells, "Squirrel" we better think about who's really calling the shots - and why.

CONGRESSIONAL RECORD – APPENDIX Page A34

EXTENSION OF REMARKS OF HON. A. S. HERLONG, JR. OF FLORIDA IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Thursday, January 10, 1963

Mr. HERLONG. Mr. Speaker, Mrs. Patricia Nordman of De Land, Fla., is an ardent and articulate opponent of communism, and until recently published the De Land Courier, which she dedicated to the purpose of alerting the public to the dangers of communism in America.

At Mrs. Nordman's request, I include in the RECORD, under unanimous consent, the following "Current Communist Goals," which she identifies as an excerpt from "The Naked Communist," by Cleon Skousen: [From "The Naked Communist," by Cleon Skousen]

CURRENT COMMUNIST GOALS

1. U.S. acceptance of coexistence as the only alternative to atomic war.

2. U.S. willingness to capitulate in preference to engaging in atomic war.

3. Develop the illusion that total disarmament by the United States would be a demonstration of moral strength.

4. Permit free trade between all nations regardless of Communist affiliation and regardless of whether or not items could be used for war.

5. Extension of long-term loans to Russia and Soviet satellites.

6. Provide American aid to all nations regardless of Communist domination.

7. Grant recognition of Red China. Admission of Red China to the U.N.

8. Set up East and West Germany as separate states in spite of Khrushchev's promise in 1955 to settle the German question by free elections under supervision of the U.N.

9. Prolong the conferences to ban atomic tests because the United States has agreed to suspend tests as long as negotiations are in progress.

10. Allow all Soviet satellites individual representation in the U.N.

11. Promote the U.N. as the only hope for mankind. If its charter is rewritten, demand that it be set up 'as a one-world government with its own Independent armed forces. (Some Communist leaders believe the world can be taken over as easily by the U.N. as by Moscow. Sometimes these two centers compete with each other as they are now doing in the Congo.)

12. Resist any attempt to outlaw the Communist Party.

13. Do away with all loyalty oaths.

14. Continue giving Russia access to the U.S. Patent Office.

15. Capture one or both of the political parties in the United States.

16. Use technical decisions of the courts to weaken basic American institutions by claiming their activities violate civil rights.

17. Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers' associations. Put the party line in textbooks.

18. Gain control of all student newspapers.

19. Use student riots to foment public protests against programs or organizations which are under Communist attack.

20. Infiltrate the press. Get control of book-review assignments, editorial writing, policymaking positions.

21. Gain control of key positions in radio, TV, and motion pictures.

22. Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all forms of artistic expression. An American Communist cell was told to "eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings, substitute shapeless, awkward and meaningless forms."

23. Control art critics and directors of art museums. "Our plan is to promote ugliness, repulsive, meaningless art."

24. Eliminate all laws governing obscenity by calling them "censorship" and a violation of free speech and free press.

25. Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio, and TV.

26. Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity, as "normal, natural, healthy."

27. Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with "social" religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity which does not need a "religious crutch."

28. Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression n the schools on the ground that it violates the principle of "separation of church and state."

29. Discredit the America Constitution by calling it inadequate, old-fashioned, out of step with modern needs, a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis.

30. Discredit the American Founding Fathers. Present them as selfish aristocrats who had no concern for the "common man."

31. Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history on the ground that it was only a minor part of the "big picture." Give more emphasis to Russian history since the Communists took over.

32. Support any socialist movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture- education, social agencies, welfare programs, mental health clinics, etc.

33. Eliminate all laws or procedures which interfere with the operation of the Communist apparatus.

34. Eliminate the House Committee on Un-American Activities.

35. Discredit and eventually dismantle the FBI.

86. Infiltrate and gain control of more unions.

37. Infiltrate and gain control of big business.

38. Transfer some of the powers of arrest from the police to social agencies. Treat all behavioral problems as psychiatric disorders which no one but psychiatrists can understand or treat.

39. Dominate the psychiatric profession and use mental health laws as a means of gaining coercive control over those who oppose Communist goals.

40. Discredit the family as an institution. Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce.

41. Emphasize the need to raise children away from the negative influence of parents. Attribute prejudices, mental blocks and retarding of children to suppressive influence of parents.

42. Create the impression that violence and insurrection are legitimate aspects of the American tradition; that students and special-interest groups should rise up and use united force to solve economic, political or social problems.

43. Overthrow all colonial governments before native populations are ready for self-government.

44. Internationalize the Panama Canal.

45. Repeal the Connally Reservation so the United States cannot prevent the World Court from seizing jurisdiction over nations and Individuals alike.

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1 July 15

This weekend, as many celebrate this country's birth, others will burn our flag, condemn our nation as evil, call for the destruction of our society, our history, and our way of life.

This won't be done by ISIS, Al Qaeda, or other foreign enemies of the United States, but by fellow Americans in the name of “equality,” “justice,” and “free speech.”

In the name of Equality they will demand other Americans forfeit their religious freedoms. In the name of Justice they will demand other Americans forfeit their 2nd Amendment rights. In the name of Free Speech, they will demand the right to protest against America any way they see fit - to include the destruction of private and public property - and demand other Americans forfeit their free speech rights should they not be in agreement.

These protests will be sanctioned and attended by prominent public figures and politicians who have been in control for years, made promises for years, and failed to deliver for years. Along the way they justified their existence by manufacturing problems where none existed, magnified those that did, and drove wedges between every segment of our society.

We should celebrate our history - every gory - and every glorious part of it. This issue is about the birth of our nation. These men saw the world as it was, with all it's imperfections, and strove to make it better. They chose to place man above government – and God above man. To make all men equal and free – although all men were not – these men embraced the Ideals that in this nation – one day they would be. Read what they did to make that happen, and read what they sacrificed for us. For me and for you.

Some people want us to re-live the worst parts of our history by trying to convince us society is no better today than it was before 1776, 1861, 1954, or 1965.

That is not true!

We, as Americans and as today's Stewards of the greatest nation on Earth, desperately need to step back and take an objective look at what's taking place in the United States – to the United States. We need to re-evaluate who we choose to be – what our country is, was, and what it stands for – and with the wisdom of maturity and with equal compromise - choose how to move forward.

Most of all, we need to look within ourselves and decide if the differences we have today are worth the destruction of the very social fabric that binds us all together.

I pray not. We are smarter than that. We are stronger than that.

We Are The United States Of America.

Jim Allen
Owner/Publisher

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24 June 15

I've written in the past on how Dr. Martin Luther King's legacy was highjacked by Socialists determined to destroy America (January 2015 Issue - This Protest Brought To You By The Revolutionary Communist Party, USA) – and race baiters who learned there was money to be made and power to be obtained by perpetuating racial unrest.

After 50 years of spouting their hate and misinformation, the two have truly succeeded in bringing America to her knees in 2015.

Today, a majority, but not all, black folks have become conditioned to perceive any slight as racially motivated. When in fact, that's not always the case. Is there racism out there? You bet – on both sides. But everything is NOT about race although some insist on making it so. And that number grows by the day.

What I'm about to describe is a symptom of that false perception.

I spoke with a black gentleman at the Courthouse recently and our conversation centered around what's wrong with Conecuh County. One of the subjects concerned our business climate and how some people would rather drive 30 miles to do business than to deal with some local merchants.

The gentleman brought up a specific business and said, “It's always been understood (that merchant) has different prices for different people.”

I agreed, saying I certainly wouldn't doubt it. I too have had negative experiences with that merchant and refuse to shop there.

It wasn't until a minute or so later he clarified his statement and indicated the price depended upon whether someone was black or white.

That took me by surprise. That is not my perception at all.

The fact is, the merchant is part of the Good 'Ol Boy, Crony Capitalism network that controls Conecuh County, and getting shafted by them has nothing to do with race.

The only color they care about is green.

Discrimination is colorblind.

I can't begin to count the ways myself, my family, and this newspaper have been discriminated against. Very little of it has to do with me being white, although some of it has. But at the root is politics and power. Pure and simple. The Establishment doesn't like what I have to say or what I do – and frankly, some merchants who might advertise with us could be afraid of what I might say. And that's their loss, because thousands of people read our newspaper and visit our website, while their merchandise sits on the shelf.

This newspaper represents independent thought – real free speech – and that scares people. I don't join political or social clubs, groups or organizations, so that I will not be beholding to them, and I only promote what I believe is best for Conecuh County and all of it's citizens. I do not promote projects or agendas that line the pockets of political cronies or help cover up their misdeeds. And for that I pay a price.

Point is, discrimination doesn't care what color you are, and it doesn't care who you are. If you are on the outside of the clique, whether that clique be composed of black, white, purple or orange people, you're going to find yourself being kicked to the curb.

And guess what? Chances are YOU ARE ON THE OUTSIDE and often find yourself being discriminated against or taken advantage of.

Don't believe me? Have a grievance? Take it to City Hall, the Commission, the Board of Education, the Chamber of Commerce, the Judicial System, or DHR and see how far you get.

And when you do go, you'll either get the “good cop” routine (smiley face and we'll look into that) – or the “bad cop” routine (get out of my office, I'm too busy for your petty problems).

Chances are, come tomorrow, your problem will still exist.

My friend, discrimination doesn't care what color we are.

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18 June 15

Today I received notification the Conecuh County Industrial Development Authority will hold an emergency called meeting Monday, June 22nd at 3 p.m., just prior to the regularly scheduled Commission meeting. The IDA will discuss the BIOTAP deal.

UPDATE: The IDA voted to cancel the lease agreement between the IDA and the BOE.

Speculation is the Commission is again considering the purchase of a section of the former Schneider property on Ted Bates Road to possibly house both BIOTAP and the offices of the Conecuh County Board of Education.

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5 June 15

Today I was notified the Conecuh County Industrial Development Authority meeting scheduled for Monday, June 8 at 3:15 p.m., has been cancelled.

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4 June 15

I for one was very proud of Conecuh County’s Industrial Development Authority when its members recently rejected a deal that had been approved by the Conecuh County Commission.

Finally, one of the county’s appointed boards did not act as a rubber stamp for elected officials who cannot seem to recognize a bad deal even when it bites the county’s taxpayers in the butt to the tune of $350,000.

Some people just don’t learn - don’t care - or are more concerned about politics than what’s really best for Conecuh County.

I commend the members of the IDA for voting their own conscience as to what they feel is in the best interests of our county and its residents, and not simply voting the wishes of those who appointed them.

We need more of this in Conecuh County - and these people should be commended for taking a stand.

Now, let’s hope they can withstand the political pressure to roll over, play dead, and do what our elected officials “want them to do.”

That chance comes Monday, June 8th at 3:15 p.m., in the Commission chambers when the IDA has again been scheduled to discuss the BIOTAP deal.

I would suggest anyone who can, should attend. Better yet, let the Commission schedule a Public Hearing on the BIOTAP deal, just like they did for the additional $1.7 million it tried to loan Evergreen Wood Products. Let them convince the people this is a good deal too.

In simplest terms, the BIOTAP deal could be described this way; if I negotiated with someone to buy 10 chickens for $10, then they came back a year later and said they could only provide 3 chickens, but I still had to pay $10, I don’t think I’d pay it.

I don’t believe you would either.

When you see an IDA board member - thank them for just saying no!

Jim Allen
Owner/Publisher

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29 May 15

Several developments have taken place since I last reported on the BIOTAP South, and Evergreen Wood Products deals with the City of Evergreen and Conecuh County.

It appears the Evergreen Wood Products deal has fallen completely through and will not take place.

A press release/opinion by Mr. Bob Miller has been posted on James Leon Windham's blog, Conecuh County News And Views. I have a link posted here.

Although I generally agree with Miller's assessment of the business climate in Conecuh County, which I have spoken to on many occasions, I in no way endorse his assertions as to “who did what.”

I fully expect things will soon get very interesting between the City, the IDB, Miller, and the local businesses which are owed some $200,000. Not to mention the taxpayers of Evergreen and Conecuh County who are owed $350,000.

BIOTAP

Since my last update, representatives of BIOTAP came before the Commission and offered a revised deal dropping the initial hiring of 35 employees down to 8, and declining $75,000 that would have been used for renovations at their proposed location, the former vocation center on Jaguar Drive.

During last Tuesday's Commission meeting, the board voted 4 to 1 to accept the revised proposal.

Commissioner Ras McCreary, citing concerns over information contained on BIOTAP South's website indicating they already have a facility operational in Evergreen, voted against the proposal.

The next course of action was for the County's Industrial Development Authority to vote on the lease agreement for the former vocation center, and the Project Agreement that had been approved by the Commission.

That meeting was held Thursday at the Courthouse.

Prior to the meeting, I asked to be allowed to make a statement to the board before a vote was taken concerning the Project Agreement approved by the Commission.

It was determined the board would discuss the BIOTAP proposal first, then I'd be allowed to speak.

When discussion was opened, board member Jimmy Taylor wanted to establish that delays in moving the project forward over recent months rested solely with BIOTAP.

County Attorney Anthony Bishop stated the delays were caused by BIOTAP's claims of having to restructure its business plan and scale back from their original proposal.

As part of that scaling back, the company would only initially hire 8 employees instead of the 35 stated in the original proposal, and that because the company was scaling back, it would no longer need $75,000 the county had pledged towards renovating the vocation center.

Under the new proposal, BIOTAP would be required to hire 8 employees by October 1st, then have a total of 35 employees in three years, and a total of 75 at the end of 5 years.

Penalties were in place, Bishop said, should BIOTAP not meet its obligations.

Taylor then wanted to clarify that the IDA only had power to approve or disapprove the lease agreement and the wage scale proposed by BIOTAP, and that the IDA did not have the power to negotiate either one.

Bishop confirmed that was indeed the case.

He also wanted to know specifically what tax abatements would be provided to BIOTAP.

Bishop was unable to name each one specifically, and summed it up by saying under the proposal, the company would be entitled to any and all tax abatements possible under Alabama law.

Taylor said he had concerns about a commercial business operating on property owned by the Board of Education, that the original BOE agreement with BIOTAP was approved under a previous administration, and that the new Superintendent has a different vision for the county's educational system and a use for that facility.

Noting the number of obligations the City, the County and the BOE would be required to provide under the new proposal, and the substantially smaller number of employees BIOTAP intends to initially employ, “there is a tremendous imbalance in my view,” he said. “We're giving away too much.”

Taylor then stated he is, “not standing in the way” of economic development, but that he had concerns with this proposal.

When Mr. Taylor finished speaking and discussion was closed, I was allowed to speak. I had no intent to draw the board into a discussion or debate, only to point out what was in the Project Agreement approved by the Commission and confirm, in my mind, the Industrial Development Authority knew what they were voting for. Then the vote would be up to them.

I told the broad that I was there to speak as a resident and taxpayer of Conecuh County. That I agreed with Mr. Taylor's assessment of the proposal and that if Conecuh County was in the business of trying to launch start-up companies, we seem to doing a good job at that, but if the intent was to benefit the people of our county – we were missing the mark.

I told them I had copies of both the original and the latest Project Agreements presented to the County Commission and then compared the two.

I pointed out the original stated that non-salaried employees would be paid a minimum of $12.85 an hour, however under the new proposal, those employees would be paid an “average minimum wage” of $12.85, meaning 7 of the employees could be paid $7.25 an hour and one could be paid $20 an hour. So long as the “average” equaled $12.85, BIOTAP would be in compliance.

This seemed to come as a surprise to most members of the board and a discussion ensued.

Attorney Bishop said that language concerning the wages had been changed by BIOTAP shortly after the original proposal had been approved and that several versions of the proposal exist.

I then asked, if that was the case, how did the IDA know which version they were voting for?

I also noted that the only substantial penalty should BIOTAP not be in compliance was the October 1st deadline. At that time, should they not be in operation and employ 8 people, the deal could be voided and they would be responsible for substantial attorney fees and expenditures.

However, the second phase at 3 years, should they not be in compliance, the penalty only amounted to them having to pay full rent – but at a still reduced rate for two years of $1,000 per month.

And at 5 years, they would lose any approved tax abatements, which would come at a time when most of the equipment subject to taxation would most likely have depreciated to the point taxing it would provide little return.

Bishop stated there were more severe penalties in place, however they were detailed in some of those other agreements and proposals he spoke of earlier.

I told the board that I have no knowledge of what those other agreements or proposals contained, and I could only speak about what was contained in the two versions I possessed.

I concluded by saying this deal had been sold to the public based on 35 employees at a minimum wage of $12.85 per hour, and that is not going to happen under this proposal; aside from the October 1st penalty for non-compliance, the proposed penalties amounted to not much more than a slap on the wrist.

In agreement with Mr. Taylor, I told the board I thought this deal could be better.

With that the meeting moved forward and Chairman Don Smith called for a Motion to approve the Lease Agreement with the Board of Education for the former vocation center.

No Motion was made. After a long pause, Smith again asked for a Motion.

When one still wasn't forthcoming, he asked each member individually if they would make the Motion. IDA Member Charles Grant stated he was concerned about the drop from 35 employees to 8, and declined to make a Motion to approve the lease agreement. Members, Patricia Fowler, Marion Booker, and Jimmy Taylor also declined to make the Motion.

Smith then asked Attorney Bishop if he could make the Motion himself, and Bishop said that as Chairman, he could not.

Mr. Taylor then made a Motion to disapprove the Lease Agreement. Ms. Booker Seconded the Motion, and Grant, Fowler, Booker and Taylor voted in favor. Chairman Smith voted against.

Mr Taylor then made a Motion to disapprove the Project Agreement previously approved by the County Commission. Again Ms. Booker Seconded the Motion, and Grant, Fowler, Booker and Taylor voted in favor. Chairman Smith voted against.

It appears that BIOTAP South will have to come up with a better proposal, and possibly renegotiate with the Board of Education, for this project to move forward.

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May 20 15

Jade Helm 15, a large-scale Special Operations military exercise scheduled to take place from July 15 thru September 15 stretching across 10 states along the southern portion of the United States from Florida to California. The slogan for the operation is, “JADE HELM 15: Master The Human Domain” and according to the U.S. Military, is a planned military exercise that will be led by the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), and will include personnel from the U.S. Army Special Forces Command (Green Berets), U.S. Navy SEALS, U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command, USMC Marine Special Operations Command, USMC Marine Expeditionary Units, the 82nd Airborne Division and civilian interagency partners.
 

What's absolutely appalling is that this is even a topic of conversation in the United States of America.

Should all the theories concerning Jade Helm 15 fall apart and as far as the public knows, “nothing happens,” let me explain just a little of what the military is about to do during this exercise. This is just a simplified version of what the military does in all exercises of any type.

  1. Logistics: It analyzes all aspects of moving materiel and personnel – what goes wrong and what goes right.

  1. Strategy: It analyzes all aspects of its plan of action – what went right and what went wrong. Why did one particular aspect of the operation work, while another did not?

  2. Human Analysis: It analyzes all aspects of human psychological actions and reactions to the actions being taken. In other words, it looks at the psychological reaction of the soldiers tasked with performing duties – and conducts a psychological analysis of the actions/reactions of the countering force (the enemy). Why did our soldiers over or under perform (taking into consideration any moral conflicts about what they were ordered to do) and how did the “enemy” react to our soldiers actions and (psychologically) why the enemy may have reacted in certain ways?

  3. Know The Battle Field: This aspect is not new, but the tools being used are, and are being combined with all other aspects (#1, #2, and #3) to form an overall 3-dimensional – real time – view of the Battle Field known as Geospatial Intelligence. Using these tools, Intelligence groups are able to combine all data communication being transmitted within a set Area Of Operations to include cell phones, radio, social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.), any Wi-Fi signal, and employ aerial digital photography, to build a 3-dimensional map of every house, building, vehicle and person on the streets – in real-time.

All this is amazing stuff. Total Information Awareness. Basically, where ever Jade Helm operations are being conducted, the local citizenry will be observed and analyzed like lab rats.

More than likely, that's already started.

The fact that Jade Helm is a counter-insurgency exercise - where average citizens of the United States in their own hometowns are being used as the pool from which these “insurgents” spring – is disturbing.

Even if “nothing happens,” during Jade Helm, conducting any military exercise on U.S. soil in which the general population is portrayed as “the potential enemy” is wrong on many levels, and any military analysis of the exercise is clearly meant to be used against “a similar population” at some point in the future.

Could Jade Helm 15 Go Live?

Many people seem concerned Jade Helm may be a move to enforce martial law. As I've explained above, the purpose of the exercise can only be to gather intelligence on how to take action against a population similar to that of the United States – but that action would only be taken after the results of the exercise are analyzed. In other words, Jade Helm is a test run of some sort, and strategically, will be conducted with too few personnel to enforce martial law on any large scale.

But what if Jade Helm did go live? Taking all components of this situation into account, here is a plausible scenario as to how that could happen.

Suppose our government happened to have troops conveniently pre-positioned on a military exercise in border states subject to high illegal immigration such as Texas, Arizona, and California, and suppose a bunch of illegal immigrants decided to rush the border – and our President wanted to let them into the United States even if our laws and our citizens didn't want that to happen.

Starting to get the picture?

So after some citizens protest, and some states protest, and a few court orders are issued to stop the surge of border crossings, the President says, “Okay. We'll stop them at the border while this gets sorted out.”

And he orders Boarder Patrol to stop them.

But a clear signal has been sent - across the globe - that a mass of people will indeed be allowed to enter the United States. All anyone has to do is show up. So they gather by the thousands and before long, 10s or 100s of thousands have massed at the border.

Mexico begins demanding help. The U.N. is demanding the U.S. open the border. The liberals are screaming for the president to take action, and main stream media is showing the “crisis” in high-definition with Special Reports and 24-hour coverage.

Then, by Executive Order, our President declares the situation a “humanitarian crisis” and these people must be let in. After all, they are stuck living in tents. They're hungry. Disease is beginning to spread.

“It's the right thing to do.”

They are reclassified as refugees. And it just so happens that a few thousand crack military troops are already in the area who could respond to this (manufactured) crisis. They can protect these “refugees,” enforce federal law, and transport them to processing centers (the conveniently/coincidentally/mysteriously closed Walmart stores), then shuffle them off to Buffalo, Springfield, Detroit, Madison...

This scenario would place Jade Helm 15 in a win-win situation – if we're talking about a federal government determined to do harm to the very country its sworn to protect.

Jade Helm 15 will gather intelligence on how to militarily occupy hometown U.S.A. and hunt down “insurgents.”

That's a fact.

And, in this scenario, it could potentially be used to literally escort an invasion of the United States by an army of “refugees,” consisting of potential enemy combatants at worst, or at best, a mass of third world illegal immigrants who have no intent to assimilate into an American way of Life, but instead want to turn America into a “better version” of their own country using their own customs and their own laws.

In this scenario, our military - would be used by our government - under federal law - to help destroy America as we know it.

But of course, nothing like this could ever happen in the United States.

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May 7 15

Well this turned out to be an interesting issue. Sometimes these issues are planned, and sometimes they “just happen.” This one just happened.

Let me say up front, I strongly support civilian law enforcement and our country’s military. But not our military being our law enforcement - or our civilian law enforcement being turned into a federal police force. Both are un-Constitutional.

When civilian law enforcement is allowed to put on masks, body armor, carry automatic weapons and ride in armored vehicles to go kick in someone’s door tossing smoke grenades and flash bangs over a traffic ticket or to confiscate a half ounce of pot - we’ve got a problem.

This happens every day and people get hurt.

When civilian law enforcement treats our communities like a police state and harass us every time we move - we’ve got a problem.

This happens every day and people’s rights are trampled.

These types of problems lay with the elected or appointed officials in charge of those departments and its employees. Over zealous officials and rogue personnel should be removed from office or employment. Immediately.

Civilian law enforcement is not our enemy. Bad department policies and rogue police personnel with an “us versus them” mentality or an “Authority Complex” are a problem. And they do exist.

Several generations of privileged youth brought up to disrespect ALL AUTHORITY and who spit at or flip off police officers are a problem too, and often directly escalate a routine encounter into a bad situation then whine like it wasn’t their fault.

True civilian law enforcement was created to “Serve And Protect” which is exactly what the vast majority do. In all cases, these police officers are your neighbors, members of your community, who place themselves in harm’s way to stop that drunk driver, that robber, that prowler or that drunk idiot causing a ruckus in the parking lot.

They should show respect to the people they serve - and the people should show them respect for what they do, while understanding parts of their job aren’t pretty and that drunk, robber or thief probably isn’t going to go to jail peacefully, but if they do, they shouldn’t be manhandled or abused in the process - or along the way.

Jim Allen
Owner/Publisher


Texas State Guard To Monitor U.S. Military Exercise Ordered To Protect Citizens’ Constitutional Rights

By: Jim Allen
THE UNITED STATES: The overall state of affairs in our country over the past decade or so have many people scratching their heads wondering what's going on. Now the state of Texas is asking that same question – and their State Guard is being tasked to look into it.

Nationally, our politics and our educational system have moved past liberal and slid towards socialist/communist. Our President and the leaders of major northern U.S. cities have taken stances on social issues that have driven wedges between ethnic groups and social classes all across our country.

This administration has taken it upon itself to reclassify the definition of what a family is, what a marriage is, and tarnish the heritage of our country by portraying our history, and our Christian values, as something to denounce and apologize for – which he has done before foreign heads-of-state on more than one occasion.

Our financial system continues to run amok and headlong towards a crisis that will dwarf The Great Depression. Many of the financial institutions that directly caused The Great Recession, and the people who ran them, were able to buy their way out of going to jail through paying fines for their criminality, while being allowed to recklessly continue generating billions in questionable profit.

Our federal government has militarized police departments all across our country with surplus armored vehicles, weapons, and military equipment, then showed those police departments how to wield all that firepower when they declared Martial Law in Boston following the Marathon Bombing.

Now that the federal government has “created that baby,” local police departments are being called to task for using those very tactics, equipment, policies and procedures established and provided by federal guidelines against the local citizenry. Case in point, Ferguson, MO.

It almost seems a deliberate attempt to set up - then portray civilian police departments as dangerous inept racists. The result has been a social and political push for a federal take-over of our police departments.

Over the years law enforcement and the judicial system have been legislated into “policing for profit” by creating a bureaucracy full of red tape with fines, fees, civil asset forfeitures, and court costs, and built a profit-driven prison system that incarcerates more people than any other country in the world.

Local, state, and federal agencies, and many businesses, make money off putting you in jail or tying you up in the judicial system.

The National Security Agency (NSA) is tracking your location and every phone call and text you make on your cell phone. They track every move you make on the Internet. They photograph your mail.

FUSION Centers, federal criminal information collection centers, have been established in every state and collect information from every police department through local and state resources.

For some unexplained reason, many of our federal departments have been purchasing military-style weapons and millions of rounds of ammunition. The Department of Homeland Security alone wants to purchase 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition. The Social Security Administration bought 174,000 hollow points. Other agencies buying millions of rounds of ammo include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Postal Service, and the Internal Revenue Service.

The Obama administration has quietly purged hundreds of career military personnel ranging in rank from Colonel to General and Admiral using some unknown criteria to ensure they are found unworthy and forced to leave the service and their command positions. It's an open secret that President Obama and many of our high ranking career military personnel don't look at the world through the same rose-colored glasses.

Add to all this the matter of states rights. Can a state choose not to recognize gay marriage? Can a state regulate fishing and hunting within it's own borders and along it's own coastline and estuaries? Does the federal government have the right to claim all water, rivers, and watersheds as federal property? Including your fishing pond – on your private property?

All of this is real. All of this is happening. All of this is public knowledge. The question is why is this taking place? And that question has some people scratching their heads and looking over their shoulders.

Now enter Jade Helm 15, a large-scale Special Operations military exercise scheduled to take place from July 15 thru September 15 stretching across 10 states along the southern portion of the United States from Florida to California.

The slogan for the operation is, “JADE HELM 15: Master The Human Domain” and according to the U.S. Military, is a planned military exercise that will be led by the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), and will include personnel from the U.S. Army Special Forces Command (Green Berets), U.S. Navy SEALS, U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command, USMC Marine Special Operations Command, USMC Marine Expeditionary Units, the 82nd Airborne Division and “civilian interagency partners.”

(Interestingly, five WAL-MART stores in states across the country designated for Jade Helm operations were closed abruptly last month for what the company said were, “plumbing problems.” Some 2,200 employees in Texas, Florida, California, and Oklahoma were given one day's notice they were being fired. Since then, Homeland Security and military vehicles have reportedly been seen at several of those locations. WAL-MART denies any connection with Jade Helm 15.)

Military exercises for Jade Helm 15 will include nighttime air drops and parachute landings in both rural and metropolitan areas on public and private lands. That means in people's neighborhoods and on city streets.

The “good guys” will be in military uniform, while the “bad guys” will be in civilian clothing. Parts of the operation reportedly call for these plain clothes “insurgents” to infiltrate public areas (the Human Domain) and blend in undetected by the local populace. Residents are encouraged to participate during the exercise by reporting “suspicious activity” to authorities.

All of this is reportedly to help train the military for deployment in foreign countries.

People are asking, how is Bastrop, Texas like Donetsk, Ukraine? Murzuk, Lybia? Or Damascus, Syria? Same language? Same style clothes? Same types of cities? How could sneaking into Texas, or Utah be remotely the same?

It’s no wonder many people across our nation, and in those states participating in the exercise, believe they see a more sinister reason for Jade Helm 15. Some outrageous theories concerning its intent are running rampant across the Internet. Many think it may be preliminary training for Martial Law and a federal takeover of our law enforcement and state sovereignty.

That possibility has residents in the state of Texas so concerned, that public meetings were held with military officials who were asked to give a detailed account of Jade Helm 15 and reassure both the public and Texas officials.

It didn't work, and in a precedent setting clash between the sovereignty of the state of Texas and the federal government, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has ordered a branch of the Texas National Guard to monitor the military exercise and report its findings directly to him on a continuous basis.

From the Office of the Governor: “Following discussions aimed at ensuring Texans are fully informed on Operation Jade Helm 15, Governor Greg Abbott today met with Major General Gerald “Jake” Betty, Commander of the Texas State Guard, and directed him to monitor the Operation.

“Governor Abbott directed General Betty to provide regular updates to the Governor’s Office to ensure that Texans’ “safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed” during the eight-week training period from July 2015 – September 2015.”


This is a very interesting development and sends a message to Washington – and other states – that a large portion of our country's citizens have become highly concerned over a broad spectrum of questionable actions taken by our federal government. The direct presence of a large scale military exercise amongst the civilian population at a time when our country is so highly politically charged is a poor decision at best.

Jade Helm 15 comes at a time when many citizens are concerned their Constitutional rights are being slowly, methodically, stripped away – and the rights of states to govern their own citizens, communities, and resources are being usurped by an overreaching federal government.

Needless to say, Governor Abbott is taking a lot of heat from mainstream media and the political Left for his actions. Whether there is an ulterior motive for Jade Helm 15 or not, Governor Abbott and the state of Texas should be commended for at least questioning the actions of our federal government. Doing so is good for our Republic, and yet another form of Patriotism that used to be taught in Civics class.

The problem doesn't lay with the people who ask questions, it lays with people who blindly believe whatever government says is true.
 

EDITOR'S NOTE: I have my own theory as to what Jade Helm might be. I'll share that in a future post.

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Weather Underground bomber unmasked — as city schoolteacher

This one ties in with our January issue concerning Communist radicals who infiltrated our higher education system then spread their Socialist ideals on campus and directly shaped the educational curriculum taught to all of our children across the United States. For a refresher, scroll down or click here, "This Protest Brought To You By The Revolutionary Communist Party, USA."

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This Protest Brought To You By The Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

(Check their URL: revcom.us)

 

8 January 15

 

This issue is about psychological warfare. Plain and simple.

As time unfolds and events take place, it’s becoming more and more obvious that a major operation by foreign interests has been in play within the United States dating back to the Cold War between the U.S. and Communist regimes around the world.

Since (not by accident) they don’t seem to teach these things in school anymore, some of you may need to seek council from your older parents or grandparents as to the seriousness of the threats Communism and Socialism pose to our way of life in the United States.

Wars have been fought and thousands of brave Americans have died to keep these forces, these political Ideals, off our shores. Ask a Korean veteran or a veteran of Vietnam.

The Ideals of Communism and Socialism use the bait of a “People’s Movement” and a society where everyone is equal and has an equal voice.

What gets left out is the reality this type of society creates a government bureaucracy run by Elitests that completely regulates every aspect of people’s lives. Everyone is equal - in despair and poverty - while the Elites live in luxury. Those who don’t go along with the program (the people) are eliminated.

I could show you photographs, but I won’t.

We must rise above race to see the big picture of what’s happened in America... to America. Here, quite literally in black and white, is how the Communists and Socialists conducted a psychological warfare operation in America that began in the 1960s and continues today. The results so far have been beyond their wildest expectations. But not yet successful. They still need their Revolution in order to fully take power.

They chose the perfect target - our educational system. They “educated” us right into a society which is now embracing Socialism and created a bureaucracy that is out of control. They’ve created a system that pits race against race, female against male - and insist our children are already wards of the State. They couch their rhetoric (lies) with soaring speeches of greatness - yet as we’ve seen, their “solutions” only create more turmoil.

This issue shows how it happened. We all see the results. Now what do we do?

Jim Allen
Owner/Publisher

 

 

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Our lead story in this month's print issue first appeared here on 23 September 14

Commission Rejects Repton - Again

Dump The Lake Committee  - It's Dead Anyway

I missed most of the County Commission's budget meetings, but chose to attend the final meeting on Wednesday, September 17 at 10 a.m. in the Courthouse. This was the last of a series of budget meetings before a vote on the budget, and not a meeting scheduled for hearing requests for funding.

I was not surprised to find that James Leon Windham and myself, along with one gentleman who was there to voice concerns over Merritt Road, were the only "visitors" at the meeting.

There was, however, one other person in attendance. Repton Mayor Terri Carter was there in her official capacity and asked the Commission to give her Lake Committee $30,000.00 in relation to an Environmental Impact Study (EIS) that appears to be seven years behind schedule; and to again ask the Commission give the town of Repton $125,000.00, a request that was denied earlier this year.

No to the $30,000.00

This is not the first time Carter has asked for this money, and the Commission stood by a decision made some four years ago to pay invoices presented to it in relation to the EIS as those invoices become due, and not give the Lake Committee $30,000 to spend as it saw fit.

(James Leon Windham has been attending meetings of the Lake Committee. Articles concerning those meetings can be found on his website Conecuh County News And Views. Take note that according to Windham's articles, the Lake Committee hired two consultants during their September 4th meeting at a cost of $19,700.00)

This newspaper, and Windham, both contacted the U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers in April and discovered the Corps had dropped Conecuh County's Lake Project in 2012.

According to information provided by the Corps, the Lake Project was presented to them for consideration in 2007. The Corps then required an Environmental Impact Study be performed in order to move the project forward.

The Lake Committee reportedly hired the engineering firm Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood to perform the work.

According to the Corps, an EIS is generally completed within nine months to a year. However, after five years, the EIS had not been completed, the application was withdrawn, and the Corps closed the project two years ago.

That now puts completion of the EIS some seven years behind schedule – and as far as the Corps of Engineer's is concerned, Conecuh's Lake Project is off the books.

No to the $125,000.00

Earlier this year there was a discussion concerning Repton being given $125,000.00. It was reported the money was approved during last year's budget meetings, however, interestingly, Carter didn't make the actual request for those funds until Commissioner Johnny Andrews was acting Chairman.

This newspaper then pointed out the possible conflicts of interest concerning the town of Repton's lawsuit against the landfill, the political action group Citizens for a Clean Southwest Alabama (CCSA), and that group's former President, Commissioner Johnny Andrews. Possible conflicts also included other new Commissioners who may have been supported by CCSA or it's members during the last election.

Giving Repton the $125,000.00 could very well look like payback or political favoritism. Crony Capitalism.

An Attorney General's Opinion said a county can legally give one of it's municipalities funding, however the county would be required to hold a Public Hearing prior to doing so.

Perhaps with fresh memories of a disastrous Public Hearing concerning the proposed Evergreen Wood Products deal – and what appears to be the loss of $175,000.00 of taxpayer's money in a "loan" to the City of Evergreen's Industrial Development Board, the matter of giving Repton $125,000 died a procedural death when a Motion to hold the Public Hearing died for lack of a second. Meaning the subject wouldn't even be brought up for a vote.

By "not voting" to have a Public Hearing, the Commission chose not to give Repton the money.

As for Carter requesting the funding a second time at this budget meeting, the subject didn't even get traction, which didn't sit well with Commissioner Johnny Andrews.

When other Commissioners said the matter had been settled and declined to consider it again, Andrews held up Carter's written request and said, "This brings it back on the table."

When the Commissioners still took no action, Andrews persisted saying, "We made a commitment during last year's budget hearings."

He then insisted the County "owed" Repton, and as far as he was concerned, the County, "owed Repton $649,000.00 for the wrong decision made by the previous Commission."

Kind of answers some of my questions concerning conflicts of interest.

Which circles back to the Lake Project.

I'm going to say it, I believe the County's effort to get a lake took a left at Albuquerque several years ago. The Lake Committee needs new leadership – perhaps someone outside the Committee - or it should be disbanded altogether.

From the beginning, a key step everyone knew we would have to take, the Environmental Impact Study, is now some seven years behind schedule. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dropped the project two years ago after our own Lake Committee withdrew the application – and didn't tell anyone. At least two of the Committee's own members – and every Commissioner I spoke to – didn't know the application had been withdrawn and the Corps of Engineers had dropped the project.

The very people who should know, didn't know. The public didn't know either.

I don't believe this Lake Committee is going to get us the lake our County so desperately needs. But it will continue to cost us time and money as attorney's shuffle paperwork, consultants get hired, and potential sources of future funding get compromised in what has turned into a political and economic tug-of-war between Repton Mayor Terri Carter and the Conecuh County Commission.

The Commission has twice denied giving the Lake Committee $30,000.00 and stood by it's position to pay invoices instead; and the Commission has twice denied giving Repton $125,000.00.

We know Commissioner Andrews thinks the County owes the town of Repton. Does that surprise anyone?

The question is, do the people believe this County owes Repton? Particularly political favoritism to the point we could jeopardize our chances of ever getting a lake?

I don't think so. It's time someone in authority stood up – or stepped down.

I think this incarnation of the Lake Committee's own lack of progress speaks for itself. Over the past 35 years some Committees have moved us forward – others not so much.

This one has managed to move us backwards.

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KORSHONTES BUTTS OF EVERGREEN, ALABAMA RECEIVES COVETED SMITH SCHOLARSHIP

BIRMINGHAM, AL- (May 16, 2014) — Korshontes Butts of Hillcrest High School has received the prestigious Smith Scholarship Award. Butts plans to attend University to pursue a degree in the medical field.

The Smith Scholarship is not singularly focused on test scores or grades. Instead the Foundation seeks students who have demonstrated a desire to give back to others through volunteer work or assistance to family, while remaining actively involved in their schools and communities.

Financially, the scholarship is valued at up to $60,000, plus study abroad, with mentoring and professional development programs. The Smith Scholarship Foundation is the largest privately funded scholarship program in the State of Alabama. http://www.smithscholarships.com

On May 10, 2014, the Smith Scholarship Foundation, established by the late Mignon C. Smith, awarded twenty-six (26) scholarships to Alabama high school seniors. The scholarships are valued at up to $60,000 each, plus study abroad funding, mentoring and professional development programs subject to Foundation Guidelines.

Award winning Journalist and T.V. Show Host of What Would You Do? John Quinoñes addressed the new recipients, challenging each to take advantage of the award and remain true to the Founder’s ideals of individuality and giving back to one’s community.

The Board of Directors awarded Mr. Quinoñes with the title of Honorary Smith Scholar for his struggle to become a first in family scholar overcoming discrimination and stereotyping with the help of special teachers who recognized his ability to write and pushing him to participate in the school newspaper and in the Upward Bound, a college preparatory program through TRIO.

ABOUT SMITH SCHOLARSHIP FOUNDATION:

Smith Scholarship Foundation holds students accountable—while providing them with college scholarships, mentoring, and opportunities for leadership and cultural experiences.  Founded by Mignon C. Smith, the Avondale Mills heiress who commonly challenged tradition and promoted inclusion.   In 2005 she endowed the Smith Scholarship Foundation in her father and mother’s names, the J. Craig and Page T. Smith Scholarship Foundation.

 

Congratulations Dr. Littles - and thanks to Leon for helping make this happen.
Be sure to check out the photos at both sites.

More than names on a wall:
3 Alabama veterans added to Vietnam Memorial

From AL.com

Ceremony marks additions,
status changes on Vietnam Wall

From Star & Stripes

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6 May 14

I don't put on airs and tout my position as a newspaper publisher. I don't strut around in my "Importance." Never have. Maybe that's what people expect - especially around here - but that's not who I am. If you know me, you know I'm the same now as I was when I first started reporting more than 25 years ago. I still think the same. I still have the same convictions. And I still believe we deserve better in Conecuh County.

Am I important? I'm just another resident. A Citizen. Just like 13,000 other folks who live in Conecuh County. I am not King of the Hill - nor do I want to be. However, I consider what I do as very important. The people have a right to know what's going on - and who's sending the message.

What I am is a resident of Conecuh County. I love this place - and I ain't gong nowhere. But we live in a poor county. Our government has plenty of revenue. It's the people who are poor. In order to live here, like most everyone else I struggle every day to try and make sure my family has what it needs. I juggle money so the family can go to the Fair in Evergreen, then have to cross something off my list so we can keep food on our table and still make the mortgage payment.

Like most in Conecuh County - we barely scrape by.

Let's let the US CENSUS Bureau paint this picture. We live in a county constantly losing population. The Bureau estimates 341 people have left Conecuh County since 2010 dropping our population down from 13,228 to 12,887 people. Some 30% of our population lives below the poverty level and we have a median household income of just $27,064. According to the federal government, the poverty level for a family of four is $23,492. Our county's median income is only slightly higher - and "Middle Income" for most is just a wish. We live in a county where only 41% have at least a high school diploma, and where 25% have less than a high school education. Some 23% can't functionally read and write. Sadly, only 47% of our households consist of a married couple with a family. Our teen pregnancy rate in 2012 was 34.5%. An astounding number, but down from a high of 50.6% in 2010.

Out of this sad financial and social situation, we pay our local government a hefty chunk of change.

The Commission's budget this year is about $17 million. At 13,228 people in Conecuh County, that equals out to $1,285 for every man, woman and child in the county.

The Board of Education's budget was even higher at $20.7 million. That equals $1,564 for every man, woman and child. (btw, that equals $11,835.33 per student. Yet the school wants $10 so your kid can dressout...)

The grand total... $2,849 tax dollars that belong to you, your spouse, and each of your children. That average family of four... $11,396 per household.

A median household income of $27,064 minus $11,396 equals $15,668.

This is the picture we elect people to change. Instead they play hide the potato and blast me for shining light on their shenanigans. It's generally that upper 1% or 2% that rule the roost in Conecuh County. I don't see many poor people getting elected.

I've come to believe there's a major disconnect between those who have money and influence in Conecuh County - and those who do not. It's like the Titanic, those of us in 2nd Class are drowning while those on deck are drinking champagne. To watch our local government toss our tax dollars around on projects they hope will make them look good, while ignoring the fundamental problems we face is truly disparaging.

They appear more concerned in perpetuating their own lifestyle than they are about saving the ship.

Retail developments along the Interstate, one or two - or five - manufacturing plants in town, will not bring the relief we need. Although the manufacturing jobs would certainly help.

But the Lake Project is the Brass Ring. Having it would level the playing field for economic and social growth for every man, woman and child in Conecuh County. And if we're not careful, we'll lose it. Moving this Lake Project forward, through or around the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and through or around any politics, should be the most important thing on everyone's mind.

If you don't give a rat's behind about anything else that has to do with Conecuh County, this is the one thing you should care about and put your concern and your effort into.

So what do I expect out of those we do elect? The same things you do. Honest government. Decent roads. Decent education. To have the chance at a better standard of living, and for people to have an opportunity for employment at a decent wage. To know my children have a future, here, in Conecuh County and don't have to move away to make a living.

We are drying up as a county. We have nothing and people are moving away. As a whole, our county is uneducated, poor, and has no financial or social opportunity that would bring purpose and worthiness to people's lives, or put breath back into our communities.

Consolidation of our high schools, losing our community identities, seems to have led to us losing our way as a "consolidated county." Not much benefit seems to have come to those of us in the county, while all the money and activity has become centered on Evergreen.

Having the Lake would completely reverse that equation. Our communities would come back to life, and thrive. And the people within those communities would once again be in control of their own social and economic outcome. Our communities have lost their identities. There is no "community" any more for the people to control, neither socially or economically. As a result, our kids have lost that "sense of belonging" a close-knit community provides, and without "community" many of our Country Stores have closed. Those old Country Stores gladly carried your credit, were a direct link to our heritage, our past, and a living symbol of what community "is." They were a daily reminder of what it meant to be American. You could feel history in the air when you walked inside. Who doesn't have fond memories of Burnt Corn Grocery? Fairnelson? Your children may never know they even existed - or the place they hold in our county's history.

No, I want better government - for the people - not for the few. I want honest government. I've been accused of making things up, but I couldn't make up this Dukes of Hazard way of business and government if I wanted to. People wouldn't believe it.

I want better. You want better.

Is what I print the truth? In case you haven't noticed, I include Alabama Code, Federal judge's orders, and source documentation in my articles. It's difficult (or delusional) to ignore the actual documentation when it's there for you to read and see for yourself.

If giving you a true picture of what Conecuh County looks like is "spreading negativity," then I'm sorry. You need to take a good, long hard look at who and what we are. The people in this county are hurting. If holding up a mirror and showing you what the antics of our elected officials really look like is "disinformation?" Then that's a definition coming from a politician trying to put up a smoke screen and hide what's going on.

I want the power back in the hands of the people - and not the politicians.

I am a Citizen, a Resident, a Taxpayer, and a Voter. I am you. I won't apologize for wanting a better place for all of us to live, or a better future for our children. And I, for one, am willing to stand up for it.

Excuses don't cut it anymore - progress does.

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2 May 14

Crony capitalism is a term describing an economy in which success in business depends on close relationships between business people and government officials. It may be exhibited by favoritism in the distribution of legal permits, government grants, special tax breaks, or other forms of [favoritism]. Crony capitalism is believed to arise when political cronyism spills over into the business world; self-serving friendships and family ties between businessmen and the government influence the economy and society to the extent that it corrupts public-serving economic and political ideals.

It’s killing us in Conecuh County. You can see the politics in the Lake Project, the Evergreen Wood Products deal, the Exit 96 Project, our educational system, our Justice system, and even in the selection of The Business of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce.

How long are the people of this county going to just sit back and put up with this? Could things be more “in your face?” At what point does it become embarrassing? How long are you going to listen to doubletalk, evasive answers, or false personal promises that (INSERT REASON/BUT NOT MY FAULT) never seem to quite be true? How far are you going to follow people down the wrong road blindly believing what they say is the complete truth, or that they have no ulterior motive? When you should know better!
Like most everyone I want to give people the benefit of the doubt and believe people are inherently truthful and honest. Especially in a small town - a close community.

But I’m not stupid. And neither are you.

How our county functions is up to us, our personal values, and what injustices, if any, we are willing to witness, endure or accept in order "to get by," "get ahead" or "get left alone." That doesn’t exactly sound like the American Way, does it?.

If all of us don’t stop it and take a stand, all we will ever do is get run over - and owned by the people running the show. And tomorrow we’ll be just like we are today, and just like we were yesterday. Nothing has or ever will change.

Personally, I say the Emperor wears no clothes.


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10 April 2014

Lake Project: Dead In The Water

NOTE: This information was confirmed today by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Mobile District

By: Jim Allen

CONECUH COUNTY-Word is spreading fast and truth needs to get ahead of rumors. The Lake Project is indeed dead in the water - but it could be saved.

According to a spokesperson with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Mobile, the project was dropped two years ago by the Corps due to lack of activity.

"The applicant was unable to provide a timeframe for completing portions of the EIS (Environmental Impact) study and the project was withdrawn and closed in 2012," according to the spokesperson.

According to information provided by the Corps, the Lake Project was presented to them for consideration in 2007. The Corps then required an Environmental Impact Study be performed in order to move the project forward.

The Lake Committee reportedly hired the engineering firm Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood to perform the work.

According to the Corps, an EIS is generally completed within nine months to a year.

However, after five years, the EIS was not completed and presented to the Corps, and the project was closed two years ago.

The spokesperson said that should the EIS be completed and presented to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, "assuming the regulations and EIS requirements have not changed, we could reopen the project."

To see an actual copy of the email from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers along with an itemized listing of funds expended for the Lake Project, visit James Leon Windham's website here. You can also read his report on a Lake Committee meeting held Monday, April 7, 2014.

Now you have the bare facts. No doubt you have many questions - I certainly do - and many of them are self-explanatory as to what went wrong.

First off, let me say this. A lot of people have some explaining to do and it needs to be done before the Conecuh County Commission, and it needs to be done at a Public Meeting. The people of this county deserve answers.

Let me go ahead and set a few lame excuses aside:

1) This is not Executive Session material. It has nothing to do with "good name or character." It has everything to do with the performance of the Lake Committee and the engineering firm hired to perform the Environmental Impact Study.

2) The Conecuh County Commission has control over what the Lake Committee does.

 

Section 45-18-90.01 Code of Alabama

Conecuh County Reservoir Management Area Authority - Creation; board of directors.

(a) The Conecuh County Reservoir Management Area Authority is created, and may incorporate under the general laws of this state as a public corporation and political subdivision of the State of Alabama for the purpose of developing that part of Murder Creek and its tributaries and watershed area located in Conecuh County and the area managed by the authority for purposes of water conservation, flood management, industrial development, recreation, irrigation, and related purposes.

(b) The authority shall be governed by a board of directors which shall consist of one member appointed by each of the county commission members, to serve at the pleasure of the appointing members of the county commission. A board member is not required to be a resident of Conecuh County. The board shall elect at its first meeting of each year a chair to preside over meetings of the board. Meetings shall be held at the call of the chair or upon the vote of three or more board members.

(c) The board may exercise each of the following powers:

(1) To provide for the boundaries and authorize the authority to investigate the resources of the Conecuh County Reservoir Management Area.

(2) To determine and implement the requirements for its full development and control.

(3) To carry out a unified comprehensive program of resource development, together with other powers to effectuate the foregoing objective.

(4) To acquire land and interests in land by purchase, construction, condemnation, or lease.

(5) To hold, manage, and sell land and interests therein.

(6) Make provisions respecting the establishment and revision of rates, fees, and charges for services rendered by the authority.

Section 45-18-90.08 Code of Alabama

No authority to levy tax; veto of actions.

(a) This article shall not be interpreted to grant the authority any power to levy any tax.

(b) Any provisions of this article to the contrary notwithstanding, any act taken by the Conecuh County Reservoir Management Area Authority may be vetoed by a majority vote of the Conecuh County Commission.

 

3) When this project was presented to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 2007, Conecuh County had no money. Now, 7 years later, we do - and we have had funds available for several years do to the oil revenue. As I've said before, instead of giving away $375,000 to the county's municipalities, that funding could - and should - be spent on pushing the Lake Project forward.

The good news is the Lake Project can be brought back to life.

One of the many questions in this boondoggle, however, is who should be in charge of doing so?

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4 April 14

I’ve lived a few places and I’ve done a few things, but by far Conecuh County is where I want to be. I’m proud to be from the Country, and I’m proud to be from Alabama. I love where we live.

I want to see Conecuh County grow. But not in a way that serves the status quo or “economic development” clearly designed to generate tax revenue and produce minimum wage jobs for a handful of teenagers instead of creating real jobs or real opportunities for the people of this county.

What possible difference is it going to make if we do get a dozen new stores and restaurants if a majority of us don’t have the “disposable income” to even shop there?

The Lake is the answer. No other proposal has the potential to raise the standard of living and provide actual economic opportunity for all citizens across the board.

Your livelihood won’t depend on who you know, it’ll depend on what you know and your own willingness to work for it. You would be in charge of your own future.

Jobs from businesses that would seek us out, and the influx of money from tourists, fishermen, and vacationers would present local residents with business and employment opportunities that are only limited by your imagination.

As soon as word got out that we were getting the lake, WalMart, Home Depot and Lowe’s would beat a path to our door. Why? Think about it. Construction. Construction our tax dollars won’t have to pay for.

Boat ramps, boat houses, docks, shoreside restaurants, camp grounds, rental properties, bait and tackle stores, outdoor sports, and restaurants.

And any one of those businesses, or something else, could be one you started.

People would need clothes cleaners, car washes, taxies, delivery services, even little kids to sell lemonade and cookies along the shoreline. How about a catering service that goes on-site to clean and cook their fish and grill a three course meal?

They would need boat mechanics, car mechanics, 4-wheelers, trailers, tires, gasoline... and the list goes on. Anything and everything you can imagine.

The people of this county could control their own destiny or have an equal opportunity at a job, and then when someone asks, “Who’s your family?” it’ll be out of curiosity, and not a judgement as to whether or not you get to work.

Don’t be a bystander. Pick how you want to live. Make your voice heard.

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Taxpayers Win One; Business And Consumers Lose One

CONECUH COUNTY-For those who may have missed the news, the $125,000 give-a-ways to Repton, Evergreen and Castleberry may have died a natural death during the Monday, March 24th meeting of the Conecuh County Commission.

As a final stipulation to giving Repton the funds, Commission Chairman Johnny Andrews told the Board the state Attorney General required a Public Notice be placed in a newspaper at least six days prior to the vote. He then called for a Motion to place the notice the week before the next Commission meeting in April.

Commissioner David Cook made the Motion to place the Public Notice, however the Motion died for lack of a Second, a procedure necessary to bring the Motion to a full vote by the Commission.

The plan to give away $375,000 to the county's municipalities surfaced within weeks of the County Commission and the City of Evergreen providing a $350,000 loan to the City's Industrial Development Board.

A prime condition of that loan was that the IDB would repay it by January 1, 2014.

The loan was not repaid by January 1st, and to date, there is no indication the money will ever be repaid to the taxpayers of Conecuh County.

The decision by a majority of the Conecuh County Commission to not place a Public Notice and not to proceed with a vote on donating the $125,000 to Repton, avoids the possibility of another public meeting similar to that held in December of last year when a rowdy crowd of residents gathered to protest the Commission's plan to back a questionable $1.7 million loan using taxpayer's money.

Credit goes to those residents of Conecuh County who contacted their Commissioners and voiced their opinions concerning the reckless use of taxpayer's money. You can mark this decision as a win.

Your voices are being heard. The question remains, how many other elected officials are starting to listen?

Business and Consumers Lose

There was another item, although not on the official agenda, at Monday's meeting which caused dissent among the Commission. At question was whether or not to allow the expansion of the Evergreen-Conecuh Capital Improvement Cooperative District to include an area of Fairview.

The District at present includes the area around Exit 96 at Interstate 65. Retail businesses in the District collect an additional 1.95 cents "user fee" on each dollar a consumer spends at their location.

According to Commission Chairman Johnny Andrews, who is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Evergreen-Conecuh Capital Improvement Cooperative District, all businesses from the Chevron station on the East side of I-65 to the Pizza Hut on the West side, except Bubba's Bar-B-Que, collect the additional 1.95 cents which is then provided directly to the District as a "user fee." [NOTE: check your receipt when shopping at these businesses. Are you paying 8 % tax or 10%?]

Andrews stressed that the additional 1.95 cents is not a tax, and citing Bubba's Bar-B-Que as an example, said participation by businesses in the District was voluntary.

Members of the Board of Directors of the Evergreen-Conecuh Capital Improvement Cooperative District are Evergreen Mayor Pete Wolff, Evergreen City Councilman Luthor Upton, Commission Chairman Johnny Andrews, and County Engineer Winston Foshee.

The expansion of the District would include an area about a half mile East of I-65 at the 93 Exit in Fairview, then South along I-65 for about a mile, then West along U.S. Highway 84 past the airport.

The only retail businesses in the area that would be effected are Love's Travel Stop, the BP station, and the Liberty One Stop service station, all of which are located directly off the Interstate.

When the subject was brought up during the Work Session prior to the Commission meeting, Commissioner Ras McCreary told the Board that he would like to have representatives of those businesses in Fairview attend a meeting to discuss their opinions on how the expansion would effect their businesses. He said he wanted to hear from them before he would feel comfortable voting on the issue.

Andrews responded by telling the Commission that Mayor Pete Wolff had told him that contact had been made with the businesses in Fairview and that they were agreeable to the expansion of the District.

Commissioner McCreary said, "It's getting difficult to know who to believe."

Although the issue was not on the official agenda for the regular meeting, once in session and well into the meeting, Chairman Andrews abruptly called for a Motion to expand the District to include Fairview.

Commissioner David Cook made the Motion and it was Seconded by Commissioner Rodney Hildreth. Commissioners Hildreth, Cook and Andrews voted in favor. Commissioners Ras McCreary and Leonard Millender voted against.

When asked what benefit a business would gain by participating with the District and collecting the additional 1.95 cents on the dollar, Andrews said they would receive services such as sweeping their parking lots and landscaping improvements.

That doesn’t seem like much of an incentive. [NOTE: since most cash registers can't cut a penny into hundredths, consumers will be charged 2 cents instead of the 1.95 the business actually pays the District, which means the business gets to pocket the .05 cent on every dollar they collect. What is that? One penny on every $20?]

After the Commission meeting, this newspaper contacted one of the managers of those businesses in Fairview. The manager said they were completely unaware of any expansion of the Evergreen-Conecuh Capital Improvement Cooperative District, and that no representative of the District had been in contact with them.

So let's see... the City has been sued for $138,000 and placed back under the Voting Rights Act (first in the nation), arbitrarily imposed an additional Lodging Tax on all hotels within the City of Evergreen, gave away $175,000 of taxpayer money to the City's Industrial Development Board, and created a Cooperative District that requires participating businesses collect a two cent on the dollar "user fee" which we pay as “tax,” the business pays as a “tax,” but actually goes directly to fund a Cooperative District that “just moves dirt,” does landscaping and sweeps parking lots.

In the meanwhile, the people of the County have been misled by broken promises to repay loans, business concerns were ignored then required to pay additional taxes, and 1.95 cents on every dollar spent near the Interstate goes to fund a legal entity which is some $9 million to $11 million in debt.

What do your water, sewage and electric bills look like?

It seems there's more of a push on to generate revenue than there is to generate jobs.

For once I have to totally agree with one of our Commissioners.

It is getting difficult to know who to believe.

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19 February 14

2014 may be a good year for Conecuh County. People seem to be waking up from a very long sleep. And that's a good thing. The people aren't marching in the street with picket signs, but there is movement afoot.

How do I know? By the people who have called me. Not the volume of calls, but who the calls were from. Very interesting...

There's no doubt progress is being made because you are apparently turning on the heat. That's you doing it - not me. Some of you are making phone calls. Talking to others. Asking questions. Voicing your opinions. And it is having an effect.

Keep doing whatever you're doing, and encourage others to join. Conecuh needs more of it.

I'm not going to say who's called, but I will sum up the subject matter in a couple of brief remarks.

It was all about the Lake - and everyone says they want one.

I was told by one official that I was spreading negativity and disinformation, and when I declined to accept that the Lake project is moving along as it should and that nothing more can be done, I was told that I was unreasonable and impossible to deal with. Another asked detailed questions relative to wetland replacement, eminent domain, and fair market value. When I told the individual I had no knowledge of how those details had been accounted for concerning the lake and that he should direct those questions to the Lake Committee, I was told that it was my job to find out and not just "piss and moan."

I was also informed that Repton Mayor Terri Carter had gone on the Mayor of Evergreen's radio station and corrected my inaccuracies concerning a recent opinion piece.

From what I could gather from our conversation, the only inaccuracy was saying the Lake Committee met every month in Repton. As it turns out, the committee meets every other month - not every month - and the location alternates between Repton and the China community. So, actually, the committee meets once every four months in Repton - and once every four months in China. But they do alternate which means the committee meets every two months... somewhere.

And that's easier than meeting once per month at the Courthouse?

As for the radio broadcast, I was not surprised to learn Mayor Carter made an appearance. What I was surprised by was that a gentleman named Pastor Michael Jackson also spoke later that morning. He was the breath of fresh air.

Pastor Jackson asked the radio listeners the same questions that myself and others have been raising in recent months. If everything's so great, where is it, why didn't we get it, and what are you doing about it?

Contrary to what some may believe, I am not required to answer those questions. Our elected officials and those "in charge" are required to answer those questions.

Thank God more people like Pastor Jackson are asking the questions! There's hope after all.

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Federal Judge Places Evergreen Back Under Voting Rights Act

First In The Nation To Be "Bailed In" Under Section 3

Ordered To Pay $138,000 In Attorney's Fees

By: Jim Allen

EVERGREEN-The City of Evergreen continues to make news, this time nationally, after a Federal Judge last month ordered the City to remain under sections of the 1965 Voting Rights Act due to irregularities during the City's last election.

In December the same judge, U.S. District Judge Ginny Granade, ordered the City to pay $138,643 in attorney's fees for a group of residents who successfully filed suit claiming a redistricting map presented by the City was unconstitutional.

A January 14, 2014 New York Times article said Evergreen is the first municipality in the nation to be "bailed-in" under Section 3 of the Voting Rights Act reserved for "jurisdictions that have intentionally discriminated against minority voters."

The United States Supreme Court struck down most of the Voting Rights Act in June 2013, however due to the judge's ruling, the City of Evergreen will continue to be subject to federal restrictions until the year 2020.

Assisting the City of Evergreen in drawing up the 2012 redistricting map was Bobby Skipper, who had been working with a Montgomery-based group known as the South Central Development Commission in the development of redistricting maps for several jurisdiction across it's seven county service area.

Conecuh County is not one of the counties served by the South Central Development Commission, and although Bobby Skipper's name still appears in a listing of associates on the SCDC website, Executive Director Tyson Howard said in a telephone interview that Skipper hasn't been associated with his organization for almost two years.

Howard also said Skipper was not representing the SCDC when he worked with the City of Evergreen in developing the redistricting map.

Skipper was later hired by the City of Evergreen as Director of Economic Development.

According to court documents, the final redistricting map was approved (by a 3-2 vote) on May 15, 2012. The City's redistricting plan which included the map was then sent to the Justice Department who received it on June 15, 2012. Justice then had 60 days to approve the plan, but after the City submitted it's plan, it kept tweaking it - which pushed back the 60 days needed for approval. Apparently, what was not submitted to the Justice Department for preclearance at all was the City's new practice of using electric bills to help determine a voter list.

The election was set for Aug. 28, 2012, but the City had not received clearance from the Justice Department before it began setting up and scheduling the election using criteria and methods which had not been approved.

That's when a group of black residents filed suit claiming the election would be unconstitutional. Judge Granade, siding with the plaintiff's, came up with her own redistricting map, and set up a Special Master to determine a proper voter list and perform the election, which was eventually held on June 18, 2013.

After the election, the Mobile Press-Register quoted Pete Wolff, who had just won his second term as Mayor saying, "Most everybody loves me," he quipped. "I have a yellow Hummer. People know who I am."

In her Final Order dated January 13, 2014, Granade required the City of Evergreen to be subject to the following restrictions:

Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED, and DECREED that:

1. Plaintiffs’ Motion for Summary Judgment on Claims 3 and 4 of the complaint in this action is hereby GRANTED;

2. Plaintiffs’ Motion for Relief under Section 3 of the Voting Rights Act is hereby GRANTED to the full extent that, for the period from the entry of this order until December 21, 2020:

A) The appointment of federal observers to monitor elections of the City of Evergreen is hereby authorized pursuant to Section 3(a) of the Voting Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. 1973a(a);

B) No change in the method of electing the Evergreen City Council, including any change in City Council district boundaries shall be enforced or administered unless and until the City satisfies the preclearance requirements of Section 3(c) of the Voting Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. 1973a(c), provided that a boundary change caused by annexation shall not be subject to Section 3 review so long as:

(1) the City consults with the representative of the plaintiffs identified in this order or his successor in the formulation of the boundaries of any area proposed for annexation;

(2) the City can demonstrate that it has given equal consideration to annexation of parcels proposed by representatives of the plaintiffs in this action, and

(3) the annexation does not lower the black population percentage in council District 1; and

C) No change in the standards for determining which registered voters are eligible to participate in the City of Evergreen’s municipal elections shall be enforced or administered unless and until the City satisfies the preclearance requirements of Section 3(c) of the Voting Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. 1973a(c).

3. While this order is in effect, the plaintiffs through counsel shall identify an individual to serve without Court-ordered compensation as their representative to the Evergreen City Council on matters relating to annexations, and this person shall speak for the plaintiffs to the City Council. The plaintiffs may, as circumstances require or as they chose, change their designated representative.

4. The Court shall retain jurisdiction over this matter until December 31, 2020, for the purpose of enforcing this Order.

5. The Court has previously made an award of fees, costs, and expenses which, at the time it was entered, anticipated this order, and thus no further award is warranted at this time.

DONE and ORDERED this 13th day of January, 2014.

/s/ Callie V. S. Granade

UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

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County WILL NOT Be Repaid $175,000 Borrowed For

Evergreen Wood Products By January 1st As Promised

By: Jim Allen

CONECUH COUNTY-Commission Chairman Johnny Andrews told a small group gathered for the Monday, December 23rd Commission meeting that the county would not be repaid the $175,000 loaned to the Industrial Development Board at the request of Economic Development Authority Director Bobby Skipper.

The money, along with another $175,000 borrowed from the City of Evergreen under the promise that it would be repaid by January 1st, was to be used to help launch the start-up company Evergreen Wood Products at the former Gerber facility in Evergreen.

The $350,000 was part of a total of $600,000 provided to the IDB and Evergreen Wood Products to upgrade the facility and prepare the company to launch operations by 2014. Within weeks of receiving the funding, Skipper and the IDB again asked for more funding, this time in the form of securing a loan in the amount of $3.4 million.

A Public Hearing concerning that funding was held December 19th and could best be described as a Public Relations disaster. (See related story below.)

That Public Meeting went so badly that a vote by the Commission concerning it's share of the $3.4 million ($1.7 million) was not even on the agenda for Monday night's meeting.

During the meeting, a resident from the Owassa community addressed the Commission and took them to task for considering the loan in the first place. He opened by asking the Commissioners if each of them would loan him $1,000. "You don't know me. Why would you loan me $5,000? And with no security to back it up?"

Also in his address to the Commission, he pointed out that a culvert under County Road 29 that was replaced within the past year is already in need of repair. "It's a waste of the taxpayer's money when the work isn't done properly," he said.

At the end of the meeting, when asked by this newspaper whether the $175,000 would be repaid to the taxpayers by January 1st, Chairman Andrews indicated that the deal with Evergreen Wood Products may not be over, and that under new management, the company hoped to proceed with opening the facility.

When asked directly if the money would be repaid by January 1st as promised, Andrews confirmed that it would not.

In further conversation with Andrews after the meeting, the Chairman said that Mr. Bob Miller was no longer a part of the group trying to form Evergreen Wood Products, and that he was being replaced by the group with an individual they believed could provide the necessary funding to launch the business.

Andrews indicated that the County Commission has no plans to provide any further funding for the project.

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Commission Holds Public Meeting On Financing $1.7 Million For Evergreen Wood Products

By: Jim Allen

CONECUH COUNTY-The meeting in the large courtroom of the Conecuh County Courthouse was on schedule and started at 5 pm, Thursday, December 19th with about 50 people in attendance. Before the crowd were all five Commissioners, Economic Development Authority Director Bobby Skipper, members of the Industrial Development Board, and three representatives of Evergreen Wood Products.

First out of the gate was a group from the Lenox Community. Apparently, a large number of those in attendance were offended by something that was said on WPPG radio the previous morning. The radio station is owned by Evergreen Mayor Pete Wolff and the morning show is hosted by Evergreen City Councilman Luther Upton.

From the comments at the meeting the group felt the Citizens for a Clean Southwest Alabama (an anti-landfill group that formed in their area) had been targeted as anti-economic development because they had been voicing concerns about the county backing the $1.7 million loan proposed for Evergreen Wood Products. The new company would be located within the city limits of Evergreen.

The Lenox group stated they certainly were in favor of the county's economic development, however from what they knew of the deal to back the $1.7 million loan - it didn't sound like a good idea.

From the general discussion throughout the meeting, no one seemed to really know just what "the deal" actually is. Both the representatives of Evergreen Wood Products and the Commission appeared to complain to each other that "the deal" keeps changing.

Basically it falls to this.. apparently three individuals have come together to form Evergreen Wood Products, a start-up company - a brand new business. One of them has experience in Operations and Production, one has sales experience, and another in finance.

The Point Man is Mr. Robert Miller, who apparently would be in charge of Operations at the Evergreen plant.

Mr. Miller told the crowd that he first met Bobby Skipper while dating Skipper's mother, and that the start-up company had planned to locate in another part of the country. Skipper, however, suggested the company locate in Evergreen, over time made a proposal, and "We were told there was a financial package waiting for us," he said.

To date, Evergreen Wood Products has been provided with $600,000, he said.

It was later determined that $350,000 of that had come from the County and the City of Evergreen, and another $100,000 had been provided by the IDB. Where the other $150,000 came from was not stated.

Most of that money has been spent in upgrades to the interior and exterior of the former Gerber building, Miller said.

Two people in the audience spoke in favor of the county backing the venture. One said he was an employee already working at Evergreen Wood Products and that it had greatly helped he and his family. He said he wanted others in the county to have the same opportunity.

It was said at the meeting that 2,000 applications had been made for the 200 proposed jobs that would eventually be created.

The second gentleman who spoke on their behalf said he was the new coach at Lyeffion Jr. High School and had recently moved into our area. He said the small town where he had grown up had basically disbanded because the people couldn't find work and moved away. He suggested the county give Evergreen Wood Products a chance.

Those who spoke against it, about 10 people, weren’t favorable towards the idea at all and at one point the discussion briefly became very heated when one individual moved to cross over several rows of seats as emotions ran high.

It was then I couldn't help but notice the county had provided no security for the meeting. There was a security guard properly stationed at the main entrance of the courthouse, however there was not a single security guard or law enforcement officer in the courtroom.

Fortunately, and as it should be, one wasn't necessary to settle the crowd.

Their overall consensus was that everyone certainly wants the county to grow, however backing this venture exposes the taxpayer's money to too much risk.

Several local business owners spoke and simply wanted to know what the deal was and how the company planned to launch the business.

Mr. Burt Cook of Connie Manufacturing related his business experience saying he started out with just one line of product before he expanded his business. He asked why Evergreen Wood Products wanted to start with a multiple line of products instead of just one, which would mean the company would need less money to launch the business.

The answer, and one of its selling points, according to those representing Evergreen Wood Products, was that being able to supply multiple products to customers from one location would save those customers from having to purchase those products from multiple suppliers - a matter of logistics and cost cutting for the customer - and that that formula had already been relied upon to obtain Letters of Intent on proposed contracts, which had already been delayed and would now have to be renegotiated.

Among the hot issues was the discussion of starting pay for employees at the facility. Initially it was stated that starting pay would be $10 to $12 an hour. At that point, Commission Chairman Johnny Andrews became very animated and said it was his understanding that starting pay was supposed to be $14.85.

The discussion between the representatives and Andrews bounced back and forth with numbers ranging from $10 to $14.85, $14.95 and upward towards $30 an hour, however it was never fully established just what the starting pay would be, or how someone would earn the higher amounts.

Another point that didn't seem to sit well with those in attendance was a description of the overall deal, as it was explained by EDA Director Bobby Skipper who initially said the county needed to pursue economic development, "at all costs" and that backing Evergreen Wood Products was a good idea.

The original intent was to provide the initial $350,000, then allow Evergreen Wood Products to obtain their loan through a bank using the Gerber building as collateral. The bank declined to make the loan and the next alternative was to have the City of Evergreen and the County back the loan as co-signers.

Lawyers are attempting to reduce the risk, he said, however as it stood now, the deal places the City and the County, "in outright risk." As for the County's portion of the loan, it would have, "100% liability," he said.

There was no discussion during the meeting concerning any amount of money Evergreen Wood Products, or it's owners, have invested towards launching this venture. One member of the audience described them as, "Not having any skin in this game." Another mentioned used car salesmen which got a chuckle from those who heard it.

The total amount of the loan, not counting the $600,000 already provided, would be $3.4 million. That's $1.7 million from the County - and $1.7 million from the City of Evergreen.

When asked why members of the Evergreen City Council had not attended this meeting, Skipper said, "they were ashamed to be here."

In further discussion it was said several Council members had attended an Executive Session held by the County Commission in preparation for this Public Meeting and learned some disparaging news. (An Executive Session is closed to the public and generally used to discuss the good name and character of an individual, economic development, or lawyer/client privilege.)

What that news was, was not disclosed at the Public Hearing.

At 6:30 pm, Commission Chairman Johnny Andrews stood and announced, "We've met our legal requirement" to hold a Public Meeting and that the meeting was over. He did ask the group representing Evergreen Wood Products if they would stay a short while after the meeting and answer individual questions. Within about 30 minutes the hallways had cleared.

The Evergreen City Council has already postponed a vote on backing the loan for Evergreen Wood Products. The next meeting of the Conecuh County Commission is next Monday, December 23rd at 5 pm in the Commission meeting room at the courthouse.

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Evergreen City Council Meeting 17 Dec. 2013

By: James Leon Windham

Call to order by Mayor Wolff at 6 PM. Invocation by Mr. Mike Lanier. Roll call showed two council members absent, Ms. Harris and Mr. Upton.

During the informal session Mr. Robbie Bolton, Robbie’s Dozier Service, to the council he was prepared to finish the drive into his business on Wild Avenue and asked the city to supply the asphalt considering it was on right of way and would assist in preventing water erosion runoff. Mr. Bolton had figured the cost of the asphalt at $3,900.00 and he will do the labor. Approved.

The agenda was approved.

Mayor Wolff extended his thanks to all the city workers for a job well done this year and reminded them the Christmas Party would be Friday. Mayor Wolff stated the Cooperative District efforts dealing with the Liberty Hill project were coming on well. He asked Mr. Lanier if they were prepared to pour the concrete. Mr. Lanier has crews on hand, he’s just waiting for directions to place anchor points and dimensions.

A review of accounts payable was completed. The income/expense report for November 2013 was approved as were the minutes from the previous meeting.

Old Business:

Economic Director Bobby Skipper advised the council there was an executive session meeting with the county commission at the government center at 5 PM on Tuesday. He is hoping for a possible vote from the commission dealing with approval of Evergreen Wood Products project agreement. Attorney Hartley advised the council he will be in Jacksonville on Tuesday and stated he wished to speak to the council prior to any voting.

Mr. Bob Carter, spoke on the sewer project to take place at King’s Crossing. It will require a bore under the tracks. Bids for this bore had been let with responses in. Blankenship Construction is the low bidder at $30,000.00. This was approved.

Grant Writer Cara Stallman stated she needed two resolutions approved to be able to accept a $450,000.00 grant for generators. The city is required to put $45,000.00 cash and $10,000.00 in-kind works.

Compliance Officer Bobby McNeil reported he has placed posters on the Magnolia Apartments. The new owner has contacted Mr. McNeil and wishes to talk to him about the apartments prior to tearing them down.

Committee Reports:

Councilperson Miller told of complaints coming to him about people speeding on Bellville Street by the tennis courts. He asked if speed bumps could be put in place. Advised to contact Superintendent Sullivan.

The sewer situation for Ms. Fantroy’s property is awaiting a survey for easement rights.

Council person Skinner invited everyone out to see the park. He is very happy with the progress.

The council was advised the mechanic shop needed a better vehicle, old one is becoming unreliable. Motion to purchase from State Bid list approved for $18,000.00 truck.

New Business:

2013 payment by Vendor report was approved.

Mr. Bobby Skipper asked for approval to incorporate 61 acres of the Park Expansion property into the city limits. Some discussion arose that it may already be in the city limits. Attorney Hartley advised they should find out for sure if it was in the city limits, if already there good, if not there is a procedure to follow.

A motion for City Hall to be closed on Wednesday, 1 January 2014.

Motion to go into executive session passed. Executive session from 6:30 PM until 6:45 PM.

Return to regular meeting.

Motion made to allow Attorney Hartley to pursue settlement in lawsuit. Passed. No info on what the lawsuit involved.

Adjourned.

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Commission Meeting 9 December 2013

By: James Leon Windham

Chairman Andrews called the meeting to order at 9 AM. Prayer by Mr. Lee Peacock followed by the pledge of allegiance.

The agenda was approved as written.

Under approval of the minutes Chairman Andrews addressed the commission about the length of published minutes. He stated there were 14 pages of minutes from the previous commission meeting and suggested that the minutes should be abbreviated more and a copy of the verbal recording be saved as the official edition of minutes. After some discussion on this issue Mr. Andrews suggested Administrator Covan gather copies of commission meetings from other counties and see how they record their minutes. The minutes from the previous meeting was approved.

Under payroll/personnel report there was one new hire for the sheriffs department and one new hire for the county as maintenance man. There were 11 hours of overtime at the jail.

Mr. Bobby Skipper was next on the agenda but was not on hand.

Ms. Francis Floyd spoke to the commission on the Conecuh County Old Town Heritage Museum on Hwy. 84. Ms. Floyd asked the commission to assist the museum with funding to get it up and properly running. She also asked that a commissioner serve on the Board of Directors for the group. Mr. Andrews asked Commissioner Millender to serve. Mr. Millender agreed to serve but suggested that Commissioner McCreary serve considering it was his district. Mr. McCreary said it was not his district but was Commissioner Hildreth's district. Mr. Hildreth agreed to serve (I think just to stop the buck passing, it really is Mr. McCreary's district).

Ms. Floyd also asked that a day (preferably 1 July) be set aside to be called Conecuh County Heritage Day. This is common to the Black Belt area of Alabama and is basically observed in 19 counties. Commissioner Millender suggested Ms. Linda Vice of RC&D be contacted and invited to the January meeting. Ms. Vice has extraordinary insight in organizations such as this.

Mr. Sid Lambert, Animal Shelter Department Head was next on the agenda. He said there were 11 cats and 9 dogs currently housed in the shelter. He stated required medications were ordered and should be on hand this week. These are needed for the state certification they hope to get.

Mr. Lambert stated he had tried to get the shelter on the Science Diet free dog food plan but there were not enough adoptions for them to qualify for the program.

Mr. Lambert also asked when it would be permissible to do a full time hire for the animal shelter and allow the current part time employee to be put in a full time position so they could acquire benefits. Mr. Lambert was advised that due to ongoing litigation dealing with a workman's comp situation a full time position could not be filled at this time.

Mr. Lambert requested a resolution to the leaking roof situation at the shelter. Current prices quoted for repairs is $4,300.00 and for a new roof, $13,000.00. Discussion on this item reflected the repaired roof was only expected to last 4-5 years. Ms. Covan was tasked with seeing if she could find the money in the budget somewhere to do this work. Mr. Lambert also requested the commission to consider fencing the area around the animal shelter, anticipated cost of $11,000.00-$13,000.00. Commissioner Millender asked if anyone knew where the counties land lines were for the animal shelter answer, no. Mr. Millender suggested someone should find out the land lines before putting out bids or accepting offers.

Mr. Lambert also brought forth a request for a policy for "Sharp Sticks and Blood Borne Pathogens" be adopted. He stated he had submitted a document a month ago and action was needed on it. County Attorney Bishop was asked if he had reviewed the document to which the reply was no. It was suggested this be an item for the next meeting's agenda to allow the attorney to review it.

Mr. Johnny Brock, EMA Director was next on the agenda. Mr. Brock advised the chairman that an invoice for one of the safe room buildings required his signature so the owner could recover $4,000.00 of their investment.

Mr. Brock also reported that he was working to form the "safety committee" that he had been tasked with. His suggestion was the committee consists of the county engineers department, the sheriff's department, county administrator and the government center chief security officer. Mr. Brock will continue on course to get this committee up and running.

County Engineer Winston Foshee reported the CDBG water grant for the Brooklyn to Covington was available and the commission needed to pass three resolutions in conjunction with it. Resolutions are to accept the grant, to assign an administrator and to assign an engineer for the grant. Passed by unanimous vote. Upon completion this system will be turned over to Owassa Brownville Water Authority at no cost to them. County's portion of cost is $70,000.00.

Ms. Judy Covan, County Administrator, asked that the position of clerk be advertised. She stated to wait for a job description rewrite would take too long and someone was needed now. Motion made and seconded to advertise passed by unanimous vote.

Ms. Covan advised the commission that she had looked into ways the return money from a bond issue could be used. It was originally for a joint venture with the city and she had been advised it could only be used on future joint issues.

County Attorney Anthony Bishop introduced a policy/procedure bid law resolution. Commissioner Millender advised the commission and Mr. Bishop the Code of Alabama already has this listed in their codes and there was no reason to issue what could become a confusing document or to duplicate paperwork. No action taken on Mr. Bishop's resolution.

Mr. Bishop advised the commission they must reschedule the Evergreen Wood Products Public Hearing as the county had missed the deadline to publish it in the paper. Rescheduled for 19 December, 5 PM, big courtroom upstairs.

Mr. Bishop also addressed the standing question of right-of-way obstructions and the ATRIP grants. Specifically he spoke of the brick wall extending into the right-of-way on the old Stage Road. Mr. Bishop suggested the county go forward with the repairs/repositioning of the brick wall at county expense. Motion made by Commissioner Cook and seconded by Commissioner Hildreth, motion carries.

Chairman's remarks: Mr. Andrews introduced Mr. Sonny Barlow of Castleberry. Mr. Barlow spoke on problems of hunters illegally dumping deer carcasses in local streams. He said it had been a real problem in his area on Eaton Road. People had actually been caught red handed by some residents but they could not get a law enforcement officer to respond. They stated they had called both the sheriff and game warden but received no help. The next day they checked with the health department. It seems no one really wants to accept responsibility to respond to these type calls. Mr. David Smith with the Alabama Wildgame Department stated that the penalties issued by the court systems basically make arresting and reporting this offense not feasible. Seems it's another of those Alabama laws that looks good in print but has no teeth in it.

It was announced the engineering department would have their Christmas party on 19 December at noon. The court house will be closed from 12 PM-1:30 PM Thursday for the commissions party.

No comments from the media.

Motion to adjourn

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Officials Announce Road And Bridge Projects In Conecuh County

CONECUH COUNTY-Local officials gathered Wednesday, October 9, in the Commission meeting room at the Conecuh County Courthouse to announce 19 upcoming road and bridge projects within the county utilizing $12,927,000.00 in funds provided through the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program (ATRIP).

"We want everyone in Conecuh County to understand the profound impact of ATRIP on our area and on our ability to get to school and work," said Commission Chairman Johnny Andrews. "These improvements will immediately benefit our citizens and our economy, and I'd like to personally thank Gov. Robert Bentley for this wise investment in our local transportation system."

All five Commissioners were at the meeting, along with Evergreen Mayor Pete Wolff and County Engineer Winston Foshee.

Projects within the City of Evergreen include bridge repairs on County Roads 22 and 30, and the resurfacing of Wild Avenue. Although not a part of the ATRIP projects, Wolff said future improvements within the city included lighting Exit 93 off Interstate 65 which would help area businesses along the Fairview Exit.

Governor Robert Bentley established ATRIP in 2012 to help local government fund necessary road and bridge improvements. The program, funded by bonds that will be paid with future federal dollars, requires local governments to put up minimum matching funds of 20 percent.

ATRIP will provide $12,927,000.00 while Conecuh County's total share will be $3,231,750.

Only Federal Aid Routes, known as major collectors, will be eligible for the ATRIP funding. County Engineer Winston Foshee said the county has approximately $1 million in reserve for improvements to the county's lesser traveled roads.

While some of the county's ATRIP projects have already been completed, the remaining are expected to be finished by the end of 2014, according to Foshee. "If we stay on track," he said, "within three or four years there shouldn't be a bad road in Conecuh County."

The following is a list of ATRIP projects within Conecuh County. A total of 133 miles are scheduled for resurfacing:

1) Resurfacing County Roads 6, 29, & 42 (COMPLETED)
2) Resurfacing Main Street (in Evergreen)
3) Bridges on County Road 22 & 30 (in Evergreen)
4) Resurfacing County Road 20
5) Resurfacing County Road 29
6) Resurfacing County Road 5
7) Resurfacing Wild Avenue (in Evergreen)
8) Resurfacing County Road 21
9) Resurfacing County Road 29
10) Resurfacing County Road 47
11) Resurfacing County Road 5
12) Resurfacing County Road 7
13) Resurfacing County Road 30
14) Resurfacing County Road 29
15) Resurfacing County Road 15
16) Resurfacing County Road 95
17) Resurfacing County Road 73
18) Resurfacing County Road 6
19) Resurfacing County Road 49

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