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"We are the front lines of truth advocacy. Major media outlets have traded truth for sensationalism, and online news sites have no real legal concerns to keep them in check. Digital text is not ink. The community newspapers are left as the only legally challenged body of information. We cannot afford to lie. We cannot afford to be inaccurate. We are the last stand for freedom of the press. We are the last of the true journalists."

Tuesday, September 25

Bibb County gets new manufacturing facility

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By Daniel L. Bamberg
"It is a big day for Bibb County," said Bibb County Commissioner Ricky Hubbard as the Bibb County Commission announced that Thyssen Krupp will be opening a new facility at Scott G. Davis Industrial Park in Woodstock.
The company's Woodstock facility will employ 20-45 employees initially with a great possibility of expansion in the future.  They will be the first company to break ground at the Industrial Park.
The project to work out this deal which was named "Deep South" has been in the works for over a year.  The Park, a joint venture between Bibb County and the family of the late Scott G. Davis, is 565 acres of property just off of Highway 5 and near Coldwater Road.  
Scott Davis himself was deeply involved in the preliminary stages of the project even up to a month before his passing in December 2011.
"This is the result of keeping a positive attitude," said Commissioner Walter Sansing.  "I know Scott is looking down on this day smiling."  
Each commissioner had an obvious glow on their faces when applauding this achievement for the park.
"We couldn't have asked for a better company to begin at the industrial park," said Commissioner Al Green.  "This is a step in a very positive direction for our residents.  Once you get one more will follow."
A anticipating lead article about this topic was printed in this week's Centreville Press.  Next week, a full story with more details on this momentous occasion will be printed.

Wednesday, September 12

Under the Hat: Same story, new fatwa

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Ignorance incites ignorance to war

A horribly made, horribly shot U.S. film which mocks Islam has incited riots and murders in Libya and Egypt.  The situation is a real horror.  The acts in Libya are acts of war, but let’s look at what should be considered here.
First of all this is the horrid result of how out of control global media has become.  A film that normally wouldn’t see the light of day has become an international statement and reflects the very problem with the world today.  Don’t get me wrong I am not taking up for these murderous zealots.  They’ve committed a clear and precise act of war, but there is a point here, which must be made.
In the United States we are blessed to have the freedom of speech, religion and expression and we use those rights unapologetically.  We should, in our country.  But the rest of the world does not have these same freedoms and there are portions of the world who have been so oppressed that they’ve never understood why we are so bold to express ourselves with such vigor.
By making this film an online expression it was submitted for the world and yet the filmmakers expected it to be looked at the same way we in the U.S. look at such things.  This is the problem when ignorance goes global.  In the U.S. it is our right to be ignorant if we want to.  While we can argue that Islam fundamentalism is ignorant to certain portions of the world it is a way of life.  Good, bad – black, white that doesn’t matter.  In the U.S. if a person continues to handle a rattlesnake, gets bitten, and dies it isn’t a tragedy.  It is the result of someone doing something stupid and inevitably dying from an acute intoxication to stupidity.  They had it coming. 
Now this isn’t to suggest that the U.S. Embassy and consulates had it coming.  Nor is it to suggest that we had it coming.  I am not making a “we need to be nice to jackasses” remark.  What I am suggesting is that these filmmakers deserve to be tried for inciting an act of war.  They need to be held accountable in some fashion for these murders.  Why?  How dare I make such a statement? 
Recent history has proven that subject matter which is dealt with in this very poorly made film can and does ignite the ignorance of Islamic fundamentalists.  Does anybody remember “The Satanic Verses?”  The author of that novel, Salman Rushdie used Muhammad and the Quran in unfavorable context.  The result of his book was riots, protests, and finally the Ayatollah and Iran’s Supreme leader calling for a Fatwa.  This is basically a global open season on the head of the publishers and Rushdie.  While dozens of innocents died Europe made sure to protect Rushdie and his publishers.  
In 2007 a Dutch cartoonist incited riots while depicting Muhammad with a missile for a head.  Last year riots and killings began when some American soldiers accidentally burned copies of the Quran.  I could probably give a dozen or so other situations, which have occurred over the past 30 years or so. 
The point is history has proven that when a mockery of the Islamic faith is made global it results in murders and riots.  So why are folks in the United States still doing this?  
It is your right to disagree (as do I) with the Quran.  It is your right to believe (as do I) that the prophet Muhammad was not a prophet at all.  It is your right to believe (as do I) that while we should support the freedom of religion, Islam seems to be a bellicose fairy tale.  It is also your right to believe (as do I) that Islamic extremism is a poison to the world, as we know it.  It is however deplorable that in order to make that point one would do the very things that exploit these thoughts and result 99% of the time in the murder of innocent people.  Did the filmmakers murder anyone?  No, but nor do drunk drivers directly.  
These filmmakers were however, the alcohol that created the intoxication, which resulted in murder.  For that reason, as alcohol is regulated, so in some cases should our freedom of speech when it comes to a globalizing it.  
In the United States we have freedom of speech, religion, and expression and we believe this is the right way.  I believe it is the right way, but unfortunately the world as a whole doesn’t share this belief.  Forcing our way of life down someone else’s throat who is neither educated enough nor prepared enough to accept it is the sum of our blessings turned to a curse and is the fundamental problem with our country’s populace.  Exercise your rights to one another not to the planet.  Most of the planet doesn’t really care and those that do want to kill you for it.  Practice some common sense.  
We should stand for our country in these horrid attacks but we should not stand for these filmmakers who intentionally or ignorantly ignited a gas trail and created an explosion.  We cannot publicly support global ignorance of any kind.  So, I for one have no problem with President Obama's apology for someone else's stupidity. I do not believe the actions of these horrible filmmakers represent our country's mentality.

Friday, August 31

Centreville PD searching for pervert


"Be on the lookout for a tall, slim white male driving white car with damage to front bumper"

The Centreville Police Department are currently looking for a man who exposed himself to 2 young girls and an adult female.  The suspect is described as a tall and slim caucasian.  He reportedly drives a white car with damage to the front bumper.
On Friday, August 24 three reports came in which suggested the suspect exposed himself to female victims.  The first reported incident occurred around noon in Moundville.  The victim in the first reported incident was a school age girl.  The second incident occurred on Splawn Drive in Centreville.  In that incident the victim got off of the school bus and was walking home when the suspect drove beside her and motioned for her to look inside.  The victim suggests the driver was naked.
The suspect then moved on to Montevallo Rd. where he exposed himself in a driveway to a 30-something year old woman "of short and petite stature," according to police.  Authorities believe that the suspect may have believe the woman to be a school child as well due to her size.
Centreville PD has placed a "BOLO" across the state with emphasis to counties adjacent to Bibb and Hale.  This law enforcement acronym means "be on the lookout" and is an all points bulletin expressing to authorities any details of the alleged suspect.
Centreville Police Chief Mike Nichols stated that his department is working closely with Moundville Police and other law enforcement to run the suspect down.  He is encouraging anyone with any other information to contact Centreville Police Department at (205) 926-5052.

Thursday, August 23

BMC Mammogram

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New Mammogram Technology at Bibb Medical Center

Women who undergo routine mammograms at Bibb Medical Center now have the latest diagnostic technology available to them, digital mammography.   By offering women the latest technology in mammography, the facility hopes to increase the number of area women who follow recommendations for regular screening  Digital Mammography is different from conventional mammography in how the image is acquired and viewed.  Bibb Medical Center acquired this new diagnostic equipment in February of this year and received their accreditation in June of 2012.    Early detection of breast cancer with screening mammography means that treatment can be started earlier in the course of the disease, possibly before it has spread.   Results from randomized clinical trials and other studies show that screening mammography can help reduce the number of deaths from breast cancer among women ages 40 to 74.   The National Cancer Institute recommends that women age 40 or older should have screening mammograms every 1 to 2 years.  It is the hope of Bibb Medical Center that our community will take advantage of these services and in so doing we can reduce the number of cancer diagnosis that to often affect our community. 

A Snail returns from death

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Oh Oblong Snail, where hast thou been?

By Daniel L. Bamberg
In 2000 the Oblong Rock Snail was declared extinct.  Typical to a snail, it took its time to argue the point.  The snail has been alive and well and thriving between Bibb and Shelby Counties.
Nathan Weland, a University of Alabama graduate student recently discovered the species following an investigation, which began with a kayak trip.
“To be able to find a species that was thought to be extinct is always encouraging, especially considering biodiversity and conservation stories are not typically positive these days,” said Weland. 
His discovery has created a buzz in conservationist and scientific communities.  The story was recently featured in PLOS ONE, a notable scientific journal. 
The snails were last collected more than three-quarters of a century ago.  With so much pollution from coal mining and steel manufacturing along the Cahaba, once the snails became scarcer, the thought was they had vanished completely.
Whelan had a hunch and convinced friends to take a kayak trip down the Cahaba River seeking out an area where the species had been most prevalent.  According to Whelan they found the snail quickly into the trip.  Upon collecting what they believed was the Oblong Rock Snail they had to match the critter with a specimen captured in 1881, which was stored at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.  Of all things, the snail was match of dental records, sort of.  The snail’s teeth, called radulas are specific to the species and are used to scrape algae off of river rock for food.  The teeth were a match.
Whelen does not know for sure how many of the Rock Snails are around, but suggested that there is an abundance of them in the location of the Cahaba, which falls between Bibb and Shelby counties.  This is a smaller but centralized area from which the species once thrived along a 50 plus mile stretch between Helena and Centreville. 
The species was once, and is now again unique to the Cahaba River basin.  The Cahaba River is one of the most biologically diverse aquatic areas in the United States according to the Nature Conservancy.  With 121 different species of fish, 38 species of mussels, and 32 species of snails, and the wondrously rare Cahaba Lilly to boot, scientists and conservationists alike study the river regularly.  12 of these species are listed as either threatened or endangered.
The Bibb / Shelby County area of the river is one of the most untouched areas, and held in high regard among those with a professional appreciation for such biodiversity.
Whelen believes that the Clean Water Act has helped steer the species back.  Though the news has created some excitement, the species is still endangered.  This is why there are efforts to study how the snail reproduces in hopes of getting the species off the endangered list.  

(Photo) The once declared extinct Oblong Rock Snail is back from the dead.  Discovered by University of Alabama graduate student, Nathan Weland, the snail has been thriving in a colony located around the Bibb and Shelby County line along the Cahaba River.

Airport Authority Questioned

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Airport Authority accosted by business owner in meeting

By Daniel L. Bamberg
Local business owner Pam Freeman appeared before the Bibb County Airport Authority to address concerns regarding some recent activity. 
Freeman raised questions about a recent bid item. Tim Dehart came to open bid meeting representing Boneyard Acquisitions.  The local female owned company drastically under bid its two competitors and was the only to stay under the maximum budget.  Authority Chairman, Walt Williams made a motion to accept Boneyard’s bid.  There was no second and the vote died.  Dehart withdrew his bid.  
The bid has yet to be awarded to anyone.
Mrs. Freeman stated that she believed the Airport denied the bid to Boneyard for one of two potential reasons.  In her statements she suggested that the Authority may have denied a second due to the fact that Boneyard is a female owned business.  The company is owned and operated by Tanette Aeyers.  The other possibility given by Freeman is that the Authority failed to second the bid because Tim Dehart is a convicted felon, and the man who made national headlines after being caught living in Bibb County for nearly 5 years under the false name of Chris Sullivan, in an attempt to flee from legal consequences he had accumulated in Arkansas.  Dehart returned to the Bibb County community recently.
“He has served his time and it is time to forgive and move on,” said Freeman.  “He can vote and own a gun just like everyone of us.  Either way the Authority seems to be offering discrimination to bidders.”
Mr. Williams and the rest of the Authority deny that there is any discrimination.
Mrs. Freeman then stated that John Herron was never an official member based upon the group’s by laws.  She quoted the by laws.  The Authority then publicly acknowledged that based on their by-laws Herron was not an official member.  Despite this claim Herron continued to vote and speak freely throughout the meeting.  At the end of the meeting the Authority attempted to vote him in officially.  Freeman pointed out that in order to vote Herron in, four members had to be present, and excluding Herron only 3 were in attendance.  Herron was not “officially” voted in?  His status is uncertain.

Tuesday, August 14

Cam Ward speaks to ABA

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Senator Ward addresses Alabama Bar Association

Alabama State Senator Cam Ward spoke to The Alabama Bar Association’s Annual Meeting in Destin on Monday, July 23.  The Senator updated them on the progress and changes of The Alabama Law Institute during his first year as President. He and the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman previously spoke to the Uniform Law Conference in Nashville and The Alabama Association for Justice annual meeting regarding the issues facing Alabama’s legal system.
“It is an honor to serve as president of The Alabama Law Institute,” Ward said. “Former Alabama Supreme Court Justice and United States Senator Howell Heflin was the first president, and I only hope I can live up to such a task. I believe we have made some steps to putting ALI on track to continue its mission into the 21st Century.”
Ward continued, “there is a lot of good work being done in our courts, but we face one of the greatest threats to our state Judiciary in a generation. The shortfall in the State General Fund Budget threatens to cripple the court system in this state. A further reduction in funding will deny many people in this state their constitutional right to justice as well as adequate due process of law. As attorneys we have a moral obligation to fight for adequate access to justice.”
Ward also highlighted several changes in the operation of ALI, including a presence in the Alabama Statehouse, which will better allow the Institute to provide legal analysis and counsel to state lawmakers. It will also save the state thousands of dollars a year. They maintain a presence at The University of Alabama, where a more than 40-year partnership has helped accomplish its core purpose of systematic code revision.
The Bar Association was also told of several bills passed during the 2012 Regular Session of the Alabama Legislature which were pushed by ALI, including bills detailing the application of foreign laws, conforming to national IRS standards, and the merger of corporations. All of these laws make Alabama law clearer, and more uniform with national standards, lessening the legal burden on businesses, and helping to get Alabamians back to work.
“We worked hard to make sure the institute sponsored smart and honest laws that streamlined The Alabama Code,” Ward said. “One of my goals as president is providing Alabama’s citizens with the best legal protections we can, while lessening the burden on business – allowing our citizens to get back to work.”
The Alabama Law Institute has also instituted a legal intern program, providing committees with legal analysts from The University of Alabama Law School, Cumberland Law School at Samford University and Jones Law School at Faulkner University, giving senior level law students needed experience while keeping the Legislature from having to hire yet more employees.
ALI staff is also working revisions to the Alabama Probate Judges’ Handbook and the Alabama County Commissioners’ Handbook, and conducting education seminars for officials and lawyers throughout the state to ensure the legislation passed this session is implemented effectively and efficiently.
“I’m so proud of our staff, and what we have been able to do to modernize the Alabama Law Institute’s purpose, and I look forward to continuing my role as a leader on legal issues for our state,” Ward said.
The Alabama Law Institute was created in 1967 and began operations in 1969, with a state purpose to clarify and simplify the laws of Alabama, to revise laws that are out-of-date and to fill in gaps in the law where there exists legal confusion. The membership of the Alabama Law Institute is limited to a maximum of 150 members of the Alabama State Bar Association who are elected for fixed terms, the judges of the Alabama Supreme Court, courts of appeals, and circuit courts, federal judges domiciled in Alabama, full-time law faculty members of Cumberland Law School and the University of Alabama School of Law, all members of the Institute Council and all lawyer members of the Legislature, who are licensed to practice in Alabama. The governing body of the Institute is the Institute Council composed of six practicing attorneys from each congressional district as well as representatives from the appellate courts, Attorney General's office, Alabama State Bar Association, law schools, Legislature, and the Governor's office.

Road Closing

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Lightsey Road closed temporarily

The Talladega National Forest, Oakmulgee Ranger District, have temporarily closed Forest Service Road 412 (Lightsey Road) to complete a culvert replacement.
A section of FSR 412 will be closed from Vick Hunter Camp to the intersection of Roy Martin Road.  The road was closed on Monday, August 13, 2012 and could remain closed for up to two weeks, depending on how quickly the work progresses. 
Visitors planning to use Vick Shooting Range can access the range using Lightsey Road from U.S. Highway 82.  The Oakmulgee District stated they appreciate the community’s patience as they improve the roads.  To check the status of the road closure, visit www.fs.usda.gov/alabama  and click “Know Before You Go” link on the right side of the page or call the Talladega National Forest, Oakmulgee District Office (205) 926-9765 ext. 202.

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