Monday, December 29, 2008


We hope you've had a wonderful, merry Christmas, and that you'll have an even better New Year. The Selma Intelligencer BETA will be taking a break for the next few days, coming back better and with more stories on the 5th of January. In the meantime, check back often for links to your latest State and National news.

Thank you for reading, and see you next year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Alabama Cuts State Jobs

The Alabama State Employees Association is cutting it's workforce by as many as 3,000 workers. Budget shortfalls have caused many departments to evaluate where cuts will have to be made.

This follows an announcement last week by Governor Bob Riley of spending cuts due to lowered tax revenue.

Monday, December 22, 2008

1st Ever Yearly Loss for Toyota

The japanese auto maker Toyota is forecasting it's first ever annual operating loss. Lowered sales in the companies largest markets and high steel prices have prompted cutbacks. The company was planning to build another plant in the southeast US, but is putting that project on hold.

Katsuaki Watanabe, the company's president, vowed to make the company lean enough to survive a massive decrease in auto sales.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Artur Davis to Run for Governor

Rep. Artur Davis stated yesterday that he would make a formal announcement in February to run for Governor. After some very early indications that he might seek a Senate seat, rumors began circulating months ago that he would seek the Gubernatorial post. His statement yesterday seems to confirm those rumors.

Bob Riley, Alabama's current governor, will be unable to run in 2010 due to Alabama's 2 consecutive term limit.

Davis is currently the Alabama 7th District Representitive to the U.S. House, which includes Selma. Davis is not originally from the area, but grew up in Montgomery.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Charities

The Christmas season is a time for sharing and giving. With all of the gift-giving and fellowship, some, this season, won't be able to experience the full joy of the holdiays. With all the layoffs and cutbacks, this year is particularly hard on some families.

If you have extra, or just want to give something, there are numerous Christmas charities.

Toys for Tots, operated by the US Marine Corps, is probably the most popular Christmas charity. Call Sgt. John McKinney at 334-294-7091 to drop off toys for the program.

My Two Front Teeth is a charity that allows people to sponsor individual children for Christmas. The children select one toy they would like for Christmas. This is listed on their website where with one click you can see what gift the child would like. With a credit card, you can purchase the gift. Volunteers then purchase and wrap the presents.

Samaritan's Purse is an organization that allows you to help on an internationals scale. Their Operation Christmas Child has garnered world renown for it's charity work.

There are many more charities that do work on Christmas. The Salvation Army, the Make a Wish foundation and others all contribute a lot during the holidays.

If you don't have enough to buy gifts, you can always volunteer to help these charities. They are always looking for gift wrappers, delivery people, etc.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Broadcasters to Shut Off Analog Signal Today

Alabama television broadcasters will be shutting off analog television broadcasts today at 5:25 PM. The move will only be temporary, however, and analog signals will return at 5:26. Some stations will not cease broadcasting, but will air a one minute message indicating that viewers need to upgrade to a digital converter or digital television.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Unemployment Hotline Overwhelmed

Recently unemployed Alabamans are reporting extremely long hold times on their required weekly phone calls to the State Government. One Selma resident reported a 1 hour and 24 minute wait, Monday, before anyone came on the line to help. This seems to be the norm, as unemployment numbers rise.

To cope with the rising demand on the state's jobless hotline, the Department of Industrial Relations, last week, instituted a new policy of allowing only those whose social security numbers ending with 0-4 to call in on Mondays, and those ending in 5-9 to call on Tuesday. Wednesday-Friday will be open for anyone. But, if Monday was any indication, it doesn't seem to be working.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Chizik Back on the Plains

Newly hired Auburn University Head Football Coach, Gene Chizik, takes the reigns after leaving his only head-coaching position a troublesome 5-19. This doesn't bother some Auburn fans, however, who remember him as the defensive coordinator for the undefeated Auburn Tigers a few years back, and the National Championship he brought to Texas as an assistant coach.

Chizik came to Iowa State 2 years ago to work with a program that was 4-8 the season before he arrived. The team's record saw no improvement, going 3-9 and 2-10 in his 2 seasons at Iowa State, but, as some will point out, Chizik had yet to play with a team made up of his own recruits.

Friday, December 12, 2008

"Guidestones" Vandalized

A monument dedicated to a one world order erected 30 years ago in Georgia has been vandalized. Graffiti denouncing a "New World Order" and some profanity were spray painted on the stone monument.

The Georgia Guidestones are a monument with the following message written in multiple languages:

1. Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
2. Guide reproduction wisely - improving fitness and diversity.
3. Unite humanity with a living new language.
4. Rule passion - faith - tradition - and all things with tempered reason.
5. Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
6. Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
7. Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
8. Balance personal rights with social duties.
9. Prize truth - beauty - love - seeking harmony with the infinite.
10.Be not a cancer on the earth - Leave room for nature - Leave room for nature.

In order to maintain a population of 500 million, as the stone calls for, 90% of the world's population would have to be eliminated, leading some to believe the stone is a threat to humanity by the secretive group that had the stones erected. The stones have an explanatory tablet nearby where etched in stone is the description the group gives it's self:

Just when the stones were vandalized was not made clear, but why seems apparent from the graffiti.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Obama PR Team Gets First Test

The spin team for President-elect Obama will get it's first test with the scandal surrounding the Senate seat he vacated. In November, it was reported that Mr. Obama spoke with the Governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich, regarding a replacement for the seat. Earlier this week, the President-elect told the Associated Press that he hadn't spoken with the Governor.

Governor Blagojevich is embroiled in controversy after reportedly trying to sell the vacant Senate seat, a seat for which he has the responsibility to appoint a replacement.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

British to Pull Out of Iraq

British troops are set to pull out of Iraq beginning at the end of January.

Since the invasion almost 6 years ago, the UK has had a significant presense in Iraq, specifically in the Basra province.

The British Command plans to have all combat troops out of Iraq by June. A small contingency of training personnel will remain, but will only number in the hundreds.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Allen Makes Presidential Debut

Dr. Geraldine Allen made her first appearance at a City Council meeting, tonight, since her election as City Council President.

Chief Riley and Sheriff Huffman also made an appearance together to request funding for the Crimestoppers program. Councilwoman Keith, a former member of the Crimestoppers board, suggested the program follow through with filing as a non-profit organization.

Other items discussed included the Good Samaritan Hospital, a near $20,000 deficit for November, and provisions for river activities.

10 Commandment Opponent Suspended by State Bar

Stephen Glassroth, filer of the initial complaint to force then Supreme Court Cheif Justice Roy Moore to remove the 10 Commandments monument from state judicial building, has had his licence to practice law suspended.

After his failure to reply to a complaint filed against him by Dana Jill Simpson, a fellow lawyer, the Alabama Bar chose to suspend Glassroth's license. Simpson has also filed a $50,000 suit against Glassroth. The trial date is set for this coming August.

Simpson made news previously when she testified to the House Judiciary about a plot hatched by Karl Rove to seek an indictment against then governor Don Siegelman. Simpson, a Republican, was working on the Bob Riley campaign at the time.

According to reports, Glassroth is listed as having contributed a total of $750 to the Artur Davis campaign.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Executions to Begin Anew in the New Year

After almost a year and a half with no executions, the State of Alabama plans to begin exercising it's death penalty again. A U.S. Supreme Court ruling temporarily halted Alabama's death penalty moments before James H. Callahan was to be executed on August 23, 2007. No one has been executed in the state since that date.

The ruling indicated that Alabama's lethal injection method could be considered cruel and unusual punishment. Alabama began to offer lethal injection as a method of execution in 2002. Previously, death row inmates were executed by electric chair. The last person executed by the electric chair in Alabama was Lynda Lyon Block, a white female, in 2002.

Since lethal injection became an option, 14 individuals have been executed in Alabama. All of them were male; 11 were white and 3 were black. They were executed at the Holman Correctional facility. Among those executed by lethal injection was the husband of Lynda Lyon Block, George Everett Sibley, Jr.

The Alabama Supreme Court plans to execute an inmate a month for the first 5 months of 2009. Callahan is now scheduled to be executed January 15th.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas on Parade

Children and adults alike lined Broad Street, today, for Selma's annual Christmas parade. The weather perfect, with just enough chill in the air to remind one of the season. The parade lasted about an hour, and was ended in the traditional way, with Santa and Mrs. Claus riding in the bucket of a Selma Fire truck.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas Parade

Tomorrow is the Selma Christmas parade. This year's parade will have a military theme, "Red, White and Blue, and Santa, too." The parade is scheduled to begin at 9AM, downtown.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

It's Official: Tuberville Resigns

After days of speculation, and weeks of gossip, Head Coach Tommy Tuberville resigned, yesterday, as head coach of the Auburn Tigers. Just weeks after issuing a statement that he intended to be on the plains for "10 more years," Tuberville told his players that he would no longer be their coach.

Tuberville led the Tigers to an undefeated season, and 6 straight wins against in-state arch-rival, Alabama, during his decade as head coach on the plains.

Among the names floating as a replacement is Derek Dooley, son of Auburn alumni, and former University of Georgia head coach, Vince Dooley.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Birmingham Bankrupt?

Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford's arrest Monday was sparked by an investigation which could lead to the city's bankruptcy. The city has a $3.2 billion sewer debt, and could move into insolvency. It would be the largest municipal bankruptcy in US history.

Langford was paid over $7 million in questionable transations, according to US Attorney Alice Martin. Martin also stated that profits from the city's sewer bond transactions were given to a company owned by Langford.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Big 3 Back in Washington

The Big 3 automakers are back in Washington DC asking for money. Their request could have far-reaching implications. If Congress awards the tens of billions the automakers want, they could use that money to pay thousands of auto industry workers, thus stimulating the American economy.

But do we know for certain that's where the money will go?

Rumors are circulating that American automakers are intending to spend billions in overseas markets. Do we want American taxpayer money supporting the economies of other nations? Before our lawmakers even consider giving out any money, we need assurances that this bailout will be spent to improve the American economy and to create jobs for Americans.

$25 billion is a lot of money. You could start up a whole new auto business for that kind of change.

If we are to invest billions in loans to these companies, we need to see an improved business model. We need to be shown where the Big 3 have gone wrong, and how they intend to change and improve themselves.

How do we know that GM, Chrysler and Ford won't just use this money to buy more million dollar commercials? Have you seen some of these commercials? They have major motion picture production value. There are explosions, special effects and computer generated graphics that no doubt cost a fortune. Wouldn't that money be better spent on R&D?

If GM, Ford and Chrysler are in financial trouble, it's not because the government doesn't give them money, it's because they have a failed business model. If they're not responsible enough to keep the oldest and most respected auto companies in the world profitable, it's doubtful they are capable of managing a multi-billion dollar bailout package.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Unemployment Benefits Extension

Unemployed Alabama residents could be eligible for up to 7 more weeks of benefits, if they meet requirements laid out at Over 10 thousand Alabamans could meet the requirements.

As unemployment rises, lawmakers in Washington passed legislation to make the extra benefits available.

Ironically, the benefits extension hinges on the unemployment rate for the state. If Alabama's unemployment rate was higher, our unemployed would be eligible for longer benefits extensions.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Bama Wins Iron Bowl

With a 36-0 shutout of the Tigers, the Crimson Tide broke a 6 game Iron Bowl losing streak and took it's first win in Bryant-Denny Stadium. Alabama also completes a 12-0 perfect season with the win. Auburn drops to 5-7 with the loss, and is not eligible for a bowl game.

Alabama will next meet the Florida Gators on the 6th of December in the SEC Championship game. The game will be televised on CBS. If you watch the game with an analog antenna, you will need to have a digital converter box or digital antenna by Saturday, as WAKA 8, our local CBS affiliate, will discontinue broadcasting an analog signal this week.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thank you to everyone who takes time to visit and read the Selma Intelligencer beta. May you have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving.

Don't eat too much!

On second thought, eat all you want... we won't tell!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Half Million Dollar Budget Deficit

Mayor Evans announces the budget shortfall
Mayor George Evans announced a $470,000+ budget shortfall in his report during the bimonthly city council meeting, tonight. Several council members voiced concern about the budgetary issue. Among them were Dr. Williamson, Dr. Newton and Councilwoman Keith, all addressing the issue in their closing remarks.

The issue was not discussed fully during the meeting, due to the absence of Dr. Allen, Council President.

Another monetary issue raised was the demolition of the buildings at 1204 and 1205 Water Ave. A budget overrun was announced for the nearly $400 thousand project.

The Mayor also reported that he asked for a state audit of the city's funds.

It's a 'dog eat world'The issue drawing the longest discussion was the possible appointment of a new clerk and treasurer. Councilman Randolph complained that it was a "dog eat world" when he stated that the two currently holding the positions should continue to hold them.

Councilwoman Crenshaw asked that all future communications from the President, in her absence, should be made in writing.

Among other issues discussed at the meeting were repairs for the Public Safety Building. The building, which was recently re-roofed, is leaking, and in need of immediate repair.

Police Raid Home for Wayward Kids

Early Saturday morning, police raided the Reclamation Ranch, a home for at-risk teens in north Alabama. According to reports, 11 boys were taken into custody amid allegations that a child claimed to have been abused.

Initally, all of the children, which includes 20 girls and 20 boys, were taken. After 8 hours, according to the home's website, the girls were released.

The boys and girls dormatories are 2 miles apart, in different counties. The boys are housed in Blount County, the girls in Walker County.

Those in the ranch report police broke down the door with a battering ram, entering with weapons drawn. The Ranch's website accuses police of using "Waco" terminology. The school's superintendent was initially handcuffed, and it's staff was forced to sit at gunpoint while police searched the facility.

Monday, November 24, 2008

UAW Attacks Alabama

During Congressional hearings last week, Union of Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger criticized Alabama for giving breaks to auto manufacturers in return for locating auto factories in the state. Gettelfinger pointed out that the manufacturers were foreign, implying some sort of malfeasance. State officials pointed out the fact that every state gives incentives to bring industry, and that if an American auto company wanted to build a new plant, it would be given the same incentives.

Gettelfinger failed to mention that the UAW hasn't had much success in organizing labor at the foreign plants.

US Senator Richard Shelby suggests bankruptcy for the big 3 auto makers.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Unemployment Up Statewide

Alabama's jobless rate has reached it's highest point since 2003. Statewide, 5.6% of Alabamans are in need of employment. That percentage represents 127,416 unemployed people in the State of Alabama.

Dallas County has the 5th highest unemployment rate in the state, according to Alabama's Labor Market Information, although it has dropped from 11% for the month September to 10.9% for the month of October. Last year, Dallas County had the highest unemployment rate for the moth of October.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

FBI Agent May Not Have Identified Himself

FBI special agent Samuel Hicks, killed Wednesday in PA during a raid on a suspected drug dealer, might have been executing a no-knock warrant at the time of his death.
Initial reports indicated that Hicks was shot during a home invasion.

No-knock warrants do not require law enforcement to identify themselves or to knock before entering a home. Critics have attacked the procedure as being too dangerous for both law enforcement as well as citizens, and a violation of the civil rights of the person on whom the warrant is being served.

This type of warrant made the news in November of 2006 when 92 year old Kathryn Johnston was killed by officers during a no-knock raid on her home. Police initially said an informant claimed drug dealers were in the home. That information was later proven to be fabricated.

After entering her home unannounced, police fired 39 shots at Johnston, hitting her 6 times. Several officers were wounded by friendly fire.

The FBI has issued no statements regarding the nature of the warrant served by special agent Hicks, yesterday.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Space Whoops!

Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper in training.  CREDIT: NASA IMAGES
Astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper lost a tool bag during a spacewalk Tuesday to repair solar panels. As Stefanyshyn-Piper was cleaning grease from tools in another bag, the bag containing 2 grease guns, wipes, and a putty knife slowly drifted out of her reach. The bag had been tethered to another bag and it is unknown how it became untethered.

The astronaut shared tools with another spacewalker involved with the task, Stephen Bowen, to complete the work on the panel.

Stefanyshyn-Piper is the first woman to lead a spacewalk.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

New Council Meets

Minister Louis Dixon and Mrs. Felicia Owens-Dixon
The first public meeting of the new Selma City Council came to order this evening for a long session. After hearing citizen's requests, which included several requests for funding from the city and a visit from the Dixons, the Mayor began his first report.

Mayor Evans makes his first report to the CouncilMayor Evans had a long list of ideas, requests and suggestions. Among the first items was a promise of professionalism in the police department, an appeal for consistent email addresses for all council members, and a request for $250,000 from the general fund to meet some immediate needs.

If any council members were dismayed by the possibility of a long session, none voiced any concerns. All appeared to be eager to get down to business.

Other business items listed included discussion of the debt owed for the Good Samaritan Hospital building, former councilman Reid Cain's legal bills and the renaming of Jeff Davis Avenue to J. L. Chestnut Boulevard.

The council left for an executive session at around 9pm.

Why Buy Local?

When shopping, we've always been taught to look for the lowest price. They taught us that in school and our wallets tend to like it, too. We look at quality, as well, but if a lower priced item is of a passable quality, or if quality isn't a big issue, we tend to buy the cheaper item.

Americans have been buying cheaper and cheaper items, lately. Sometimes the cheaper items are of similar if not better quality. Sometimes, we can buy so many for so little, we completely overlook the fact that we are sending a lot of our money out of town.

Most mass-produced items and inexpensive products are produced overseas these days and are of questionable quality. Even if they were of the best quality, however, there would still be a greater issue to consider. Where are we sending our money?

When you buy an item produced locally, a large portion of the cost of that item will remain in your community. You'll most likely see some of that money go back into your pocket at some point. Buying items that aren't manufactured locally will send a portion of the item's price out of your community. Most, if not all, of that money will probably not come back.

There are also issues of morality and ethics. When an item is produced overseas, there is no direct oversight. As consumers, we can't honestly say we know that what we consume has been produced in an ethical way. We have no way of knowing whether or not a child was forced to produce the item. We can't say for certain whether the item was manufactured by workers being paid slave wages or not. If this is occurring, we bear the moral responsibility for creating the demand that causes these human rights violations.

The argument we often make is that we really can't afford NOT to buy the cheaper items. That may be true, now, but it's not a completely sound idea. The fact is that we can't afford to keep sending our money away. If we can't afford to buy locally made products, it's because we've been sending our money away for so long.

No community will ever be self-sufficient. That's not the goal of buying locally. The goal of buying locally is get the greatest quality product while keeping as much money in the community as possible. If we can do this, we won't have to worry as much about ailing stock markets or large corporate failures.

Monday, November 17, 2008

TV Stations Air Fake News

The Center for Media and Democracy's PR Watch group claims fake news stories were shown on local TV stations as if they were legitimate news. 77 stations, including WAKA Channel 8, are accused by the organization of airing stories created by corporate sponsors as genuine news. The stories are commercial video news releases that the stations air without disclaimer or notice that the story is not a verified news item.

The CMD also claims news networks cite fictional characters as sources for information.

An example is the character Martin Eisenstadt. Eisenstadt, an alleged McCain campaign staffer, is credited with starting the rumor that Sarah Palin is bad with geography. The character exists only in a blog, according to PR Watch, and is an elaborate fraud. Fox News reporters cited the information as coming from top McCain aides.

Karl Rove Connected to Siegelman Prosecution, Again

A legal aide to a US Attorney Leura Canary, Tamarah Grimes, alleges that her boss interfered with the prosecution of former Governor, Don Siegelman. Canary recused herself from the trial, according to Grimes, yet continued to advise the prosecution.

Leura Canary has strong ties to Karl Rove. Rove and Canary made news previously when a campaign volunteer told congressional attorneys of a conversation in which Canary's husband Bill told Rove his wife, Leura, would take care of Siegelman.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bachus: "Rise Up and Stop Us"

Alabama Congressman Spencer Bachus cautions Congress against misuse of bailout funding, warning "people will simply rise up and stop us."

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Tide Defeats Miss St

Alabama scored 27 unanswered points tonight to defeat the Mississippi State Bulldogs by a score of 32-7. The Tide special teams scored first with a blocked punt resulting in a safety. Javier Arenas returned 2 punts for long yardage and scored a touchdown.

With the win, the Tide snapped a 2 game losing streak to the Bulldogs.

Bama remains undefeated for the year.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Shelby Says More Jobs for Alabama

Senator Richard Shelby has announced that more jobs will be coming to Alabama in the form of military contracts. According to Shelby, an Australian manufacturer named Austal, which employs around 1000 in Mobile, has been awarded a new contract to build several ships for the Navy at the company's Mobile facility.

The contract is worth almost $2 billion.

School Budget Proration

Selma City schools, as well as Dallas County schools, could receive sharply lower funding in December when a proration plan goes into effect. Lowered tax revenues are the cuprit, according to the State School Board Superintendent, Joe Morton.

Governor Bob Riley is expected to soon declare the proration.

Extra curricular activities and technology are expected to be the first programs affected by the cuts, although leaders are still discussing where the cuts should be made.

More cuts can be expected for the 2009-2010 school year.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Get Your Bailout Money Here

Think your company deserves bailing out? Apply for your portion of the bailout package using this form from the US Treasury. Will you get it? Probably not. Most of the money is going into buying bank stocks, according to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

In a press conference yesterday, Secretary Paulson stated that the money would be used to purchase bank stock.

As we reported earlier this week, the bailout has grown into the trillions of dollars. Very little of this, if any, is going to help average Americans. Where the money is going isn't at all clear. Neither the FED nor the Treasury Department will disclose that information.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

'Iraq War Over': Prank on NYT

A newspaper bearing the New York Times logo was circulated today declaring on it's front page that the war in Iraq was over. The paper was a 14-page counterfeit edition of the New York Times. Other articles in the publication lampooned national institutions such as Exxon-Mobil.

The paper was dated July 4, 2009 and was the brainchild of the Yes Men, a left-leaning activist group.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Body Found on Race Street

Emergency vehicles on the sceneA submerged body was pulled from standing water in the drainage ditch on the west side of Race Street today. According to local residents, utility workers were in the area before the body was found. Shortly after noon, emergency vehicles arrived at the ditch between Chappelle's Furniture and AL Highway 14.

Where the body was pulled from the ditchThe body was removed from the water around 4pm. Captain Duke of the Selma Fire Department was in charge of the unit that removed the body.

Those on the scene reported that the body had been submerged in the ditch for an indeterminate length of time. Cpt. Duke wouldn't comment on the timeframe or cause of the unknown person's death, though some at the scene said the body had most likely been there for quite some time.

UPDATE 11-14-08: The body has been identified as that of Orlando Woods, 29, of Marion, AL. Woods was released from the Dallas County Jail on October 6th. It was the last time he was seen alive.

According to police, Woods suffered blunt force trauma. His death has been classified as a suspected homicide by the Selma Police Department.

Upchurch Questionable for Mississippi St.

A mysterious neck spasm before the LSU game has standout Alabama running back, Roy Upchurch, sidelined. Upchurch complained of neck pain before the game, prompting Alabama trainers to advise that he sit the game out.

Another Alabama player, noseguard Terrence Cody, returned to action in the game Saturday. He reports that he is "85 to 90%" and believes he could have played against Arkansas St. the previous weekend.

FED Keeps Bailout Beneficiaries Secret

Bloomberg reports that the FED is refusing to identify the recipients of the $2 trillion bailout package. According to the report, FED Chair Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson both swore to disclose with full transparency every transaction to occur with the money. Neither have complied.


Veteran's Day Celebration

A Veteran's Day service will be held at Memorial Stadium today at 11AM. The service is expected to be about 45 minutes. The Stadium will open at 10AM.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Woman Accuses Holloway Suspect of Slavery

Jordan Van der Sloot, suspect in the disappearance of Natalie Holloway, the Alabama girl missing since a senior trip to Aruba in 2005, has been accused by a female friend of selling women into slavery.

An investigative TV show in the Netherlands Saturday night reported Van der Sloot was known by an aquaintance as a trafficer of women from Thailand. The investigative reporter, Peter R. de Vries, made claims earlier this year that he had solved the Holloway crime.

No charges have yet been filed.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Bama Wins in OT

Alabama took an overtime victory in Baton Rouge against #15 LSU to clinch the SEC Western division.

LSU led the Tide at the end of the 1st quarter 14-7; it was the only time this season that Alabama was down at the end of the 1st. Alabama launched a comeback that saw them up by 7 in the 4th quarter. LSU then rallied to tied the game.

Kicker L. Tiffin had his last-second field goal blocked to send the game into overtime.

The Tide defense held LSU to no score on their first possession in overtime. Quarterback J.P. Wilson then punched in a touchdown to end the game.

Alabama will have to face Mississippi State and Auburn before taking on Florida in the SEC Championship game.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Doc Hollidae has Died

A report has come to the Intelligencer that local radio personality and disc jockey Doc Hollidae died of a heart-attack this morning. Hollidae was recuperating from recent heart-stent surgery when he suffered the second fatal attack.

Hollidae worked at WDXX, WHBB, WALX, WJAM, WMRK and other local radio stations for decades.

Same Percentage Voted in 2004 as 2008

The same percentage of the population voted in 2008 as in the 2004 election, reports the American University’s Center for the Study of the American Electorate. Reports of unusally high voter turnout have been exaggerated, according to the data.

Republican turnout was slightly lower than 4 years ago, while Democratic turnout was only slightly higher.

Alabama was among 6 states reported to have seen increased voter turnout.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Alabama Taxes Poor Most

The tax burden on Alabama's lower-middle class is among the worst in the nation. For a family of four living near the poverty line, Alabama ranks as the worst of all 50 states for highest income tax in the nation. Whereas the Alabama family pays upwards of $500 at the poverty line, citizens of other states with the exact same income pay nothing, or obtain credits, according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.

Alabama also has one of the largest disparities of income between families with high income and those with low income. The gap is growing between upper and lower incomes, as well. With sales taxes and consumption taxes added, the burden grows even larger on low to middle income families.

View the report from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities HERE.

Cleburne goes Wet

Before Tuesday, there were 27 counties with a ban on liquor sales. There are now only 26. Cleburne County has adopted a measure that would leaglize the sale of alcoholic beverages.

This is the second time in as many elections that the measure was on Cleburn County ballots.

2 other counties defeated similar measures.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Keys Cloned from Cellphone Photo

Scientists recently revealed that a new software developed at the Jacobs School of Engineering at the University of California-San Diego is capable of copying photographed keys. Housekeys were used in experimentation that included using low-resolution camera phones to obtain images of the keys. The software then generated the geometrical dimensions of the keys from the photographs, allowing key makers to create exact duplicates.

The project is nicknamed 'SNEAKEY'.



A headline on the website this morning reads "A New World Order" and displays a picture of Barack Obama waving to the enthusiastic crowd. Riding the wave of Obama popularity, Democrats swept most of Tuesday's elections, establishing a powerful majority in Congress as well as taking the Presidency.

Ironically, the phrase "New World Order," uttered most prominently by a Republican, former president, George H. W. Bush, hasn't been quoted as coming from Barack Obama. He has, however, made numerous calls for globalization, the intent of new world order proponents.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


At 8:25PM CDT, Barack Obama is our projected winner in the US Presidential race. Barring major upsets in the western states, Obama will win by a large margin of electoral votes. Polls will close last in Hawaii and Alaska at 9pm and 10pm CDT.

Alabama's 9 electoral votes will be going to John McCain.

In other elections:

Jeff Sessions has been re-elected to the US Senate.

Lucy Baxley appears to have won the PSC office, as well.

Report Vote Irregularities

Your vote is the most important tool you have to exercise your freedom. It should be cherished and protected. Voter intimidation, fraud and other improprieties that can alter the true vote count should be reported and eliminated immediately.

If you suspect or witness improper procedures at the polls, call the Alabama voter help-line at 1-800-274-VOTE (8683) to report the problem. There are several ways to report the suspected fraud. The Alabama Secretary of State website lists multiple options.

There is also a national hotline, 1-866-OUR-VOTE, or 1-866-687-8683. To view reports of voting irregularities in realtime, visit the Our Vote website.

Good Day to Vote

While the results of today's elections will be up in the air until polls close, clouds won't be for long. The forecast calls for clear skies and temperatures in the mid-70s. There's no excuse to avoid the polls, at least where the weather is concerned. Polls are open from 7am until 7pm.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Accident on Highland Ave

Witnesses reported the driver of this white vehicle rear-ended a diesel truck, this morning, on Highland Avenue.

Who Wins Tuesday?

Come Wednesday morning, roughly half of the population will be happy, and roughly half will be disappointed. But who really wins? If Barack Obama wins, as polls are projecting, what will change? Will anything really change? If John McCain pulls off the upset, how will he better our nation? Will things get worse?

Who wins, or do we all lose?

After long and careful consideration, The Selma Intelligencer cannot in good conscience endorse either of the frontrunners in the Presidential race. We can, however, give you a rundown of some of the other candidates in the race:

Chuck Baldwin, Constitution Party/Independent
Bob Barr, Libertarian Party/Independent
Frank McEnulty, American Independent/Independent
Cynthia McKinney, Green Party/Independent
Ralph Nader, Independent

Probably the most recognizable names are those of Bob Barr, a former GOP congressman, and Ralph Nader, the consumer rights activist who has campaigned for the presidency multiple times. Barr and Nader, while diametrically opposed philosophically, have agreed to a set of complaints against the Democrats and Republicans. Their complaints outline abuses of the democratic process by the two political parties and call for the repeal of institutions such as the Federal Reserve.

Chuck Baldwin, also a former Republican, has been endorsed by many of his former party's conservative core. He has the nod of many pro-life organizations and of the nation's largest pro-2nd Amendment organization, Gun Owners of America. Baldwin is the pastor of a large church in Pensacola, Florida, and is a conservative radio talk show host.

McKinney is a former congresswoman who campaigns on a platform of government reform and calls for an investigation into widespread government corruption. She and Nader are the more liberal of the candidates, yet they both agree with the others in calling for the abolition of the Federal Reserve system.

The Selma Intelligencer agrees with all of these candidates in their assessment of the other 2 parties. We believe that the Democrats and Republicans have subverted the will of the people by passing legislation that would impede the progress of anyone running for office unless they join one of those two parties. We believe that investigations should be launched as to whether these same two political parties have conspired to allow their members to profit personally from the monopolization of the political process.

Continuing to play into the 2-party lie is not an option. The 2 parties have become too corrupt. Voting for one to keep the other's candidate out of office is a game played by the power-brokers too often, and we will not continue to perpetrate this myth. We urge you to vote your conscience, not your fears. As John Adams said, "Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost."

Tide Rolls to No.1 Slot

After a 35-0 shutout of the Arkansas State Red Wolves, Bama has moved up to the number one position in both the AP and BCS rankings. Texas, previously ranked first, dropped after losing to in-state opponent Texas Tech Saturday.

The University of Alabama will face LSU (6-2 and ranked 15th in the Associated Press poll) this Saturday in Baton Rouge. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 Central; the game is to be televised on CBS.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Kenan's Mill Bluegrass Festival

Mandolin and upright-bass music filled the air and reverberated off of the walls of Valley Creek at the annual Kenan's Mill Bluegrass Festival. As Rick Wilson introduced the musicians, one couldn't help noticing little Cody Bryant, a young fiddle prodigy, as he sawed his fiddle with a skill and ease that belied his age, leading the band through rousing bluegrass favorites.

After thrilling the audience, young Cody was seen riding a horse. (right)

Arts and crafts were on display and for sale at the festival as well. Here, the Tinman, Charlie Lucas, (left) best known for his metal sculptures of animals, poses with young fans Gloria and Ari.

There were free amusements for children, such as a bounce-house and inflatable slides. Horse and pony rides were available; fun names such as Eastwood and Tonto were among the names of horses ready to ride. There was also an old-timey tractor pulling children and family members around the grounds for hayrides.

Festivities began at 9am and ended at 5pm.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Parade

Children from local schools and other citizens paraded down the street, this afternoon.

Some wore costumes, others held up "VOTE" signs. Bystanders waved and shouted as some of the paraders tossed candy at the crowd.

Man Injured in Pump Fire

A man was injured, and pump fire was put out, today, at the Idle Inn gas station on the corner of Jeff Davis and Broad. The fire started, according to the attendent, as a pump repairman was working on the pump around 4pm. She reported that the man appeared to have been shocked by the pump handle, and dropped it.

A fireman on the scene, Tony Mitchell, said he believed the fire was started by static electricity, but that it wouldn't be conclusive until the insurance investigator arrived.

The repairman was rushed to the hospital with burns. Another vehicle at the pump at the time of the fire was burned, as well.

Have a Safe Halloween

The City of Selma will be observing Halloween from 6pm until 8pm tonight. Costumed children will be filling the streets in search of candy. Since Halloween falls on a Friday, this year, and not a school night, crowds are expected to be larger.

In order to make sure your candy-gathering experience is a safe and healthy one, a few simple rules should be followed. Young children should be accompanied by an adult while trick or treating. Having a flashlight for the darker hours is a smart move, as well. Observing street-crossing safety rules, such as looking both ways before crossing a street, is very important. Also, make sure that any masks have eye-holes large enough to not impede vision.

Trick or treat in familiar areas, and discard any questionable candy.

Keep these few ideas in mind to have a safe, accident-free Halloween.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Hyundai Goes to 4-day Week

A decline in auto sales has prompted the Hyundai plant in Montgomery to swap to a 4-day work week for the remainder of 2008.

Hyundai isn't the only Alabama auto maker to be affected. The Mercedes plant in north Alabama will also be going to a 4-day week. The Honda plant in Lincoln, AL will be reducing output by 10,000 vehicles, as well.

Not all automakers in Alabama are suffering, however. The Toyota plant in Huntsville, which shut down it's V8 engine production earlier this year, will be restarting the line this week.

Cow Killed and Eaten in Field

3 men in White Plains, AL killed, butchered and ate a pregnant cow in a farmer's field. The cow was killed with a bow and arrow. The men have been charged with killing the cow, which could amount to a felony.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Council Meeting: Recognition and Renaming

I'll be Back-Outgoing Councilman Leashore speaks to the crowd after receiving recognition for his service to the city. Pictured seated to the right is Leashore's replacement, B. L. Tucker
Those not returning to positions in city government following this year's municipal elections received plaques from the city at the council's bi-monthly meeting Tuesday night. They were also honored by the Angelic Harmonizers. Mayor Perkins received recognition from the Selma/Dallas Youth Ambassadors, as well.
Outgoing Mayor James Perkins accepts a plaque in recognition of service to the city from Council President, and Mayor-elect, George Evans
Discussion continued on the renaming of Jeff Davis Avenue to J. L. Chestnut, Jr. Boulevard. After an initial vote of 5-4, and a discussion of parliamentary procedure, a resolution passed unanimously to consider the name change.

Also speaking at the meeting was Carolyn Bates. Bates is bringing suit against the city for what she claims were "many violations on election day". Among the claims she made were allegations of individuals registering to vote 15 to 25 times, voters listing addresses as empty lots, and voting machines being unwatched during voting.

City Attorney Jimmy Nunn stated that the city made a motion with the presiding judge to dismiss the case. Both Nunn and Bates stated they would meet in court on November 12.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Woman Beaten outside Wal-Mart

Reports are coming in to the Selma Intelligencer that a woman with the last name Nettles was beaten by an angry group of people outside the Selma Wal-Mart last week. Initial reports indicate that there was an altercation in the store at a cash register. One of those involved in the register incident called friends or family on her cellphone to assail the victim outside the store.

When questioned, a Wal-Mart employee confirmed the altercation. She stated that one of the ladies was "in a hurry" and forcefully moved someone else's items from the conveyor at a register. The alleged beating took place outside shortly afterwards.


Dallas County Sample Ballot

Be prepared on election day. The 2008 ballot for Dallas County is available online at the AlabamaVotes.Gov website. Click HERE to download the ballot in .pdf format, or click the picture to the left to enlarge. Find your candidate on the ballot before you vote.

Economy Falters; Gun Manufacturers Thrive

At a time when many are considering adding penny pinching measures to their household budgets, consumers are shelling out more money than ever for firearms. The motivating factor seems to be uncertainty.


Monday, October 27, 2008

City Council Meeting Postponed

The Selma City Council meeting scheduled for 5pm this evening has been rescheduled for Tuesday. A call to the city clerk's office yeilded no further details, other than the new time and date for the council meeting. Unconfirmed reports indicate that there was a League of Cities meeting to be attended by many of the council members.

The person answering the phone at the clerk's office indicated that the council meeting would be at 5pm on Tuesday.

Gas Below $2.50

At least 2 gas stations in the area had regular unleaded gasoline priced below $2.50 a gallon this morning. After prices soared to all-time highs nearing, and at times surpassing, $4 a gallon, the dropping prices are more than welcome. Money in consumer's pockets at Christmastime should be good for local retailers, as well.

Frost Possible Monday Night

Temperatures are expected to drop into the low 30s Monday night. Plants and pets should be moved indoors or otherwise protected from the cold. A hard freeze is possible for the northern part of the state.

Bama Still Unbeaten

After handling the Volunteers Saturday, the Alabama Crimson Tide are 8-0. The Tide proved that they are capable of playing 4 full quarters, scoring the majority of their points in the second half in their 29-9 victory over Tennessee. Bama also held their 2nd place position in the major polls and in the BCS.

The Tide will meet Arkansas St. this Saturday in Tuscaloosa.


In this era of propaganda-laden advertisements for prepackaged, over-processed goods, it should come as no surprise that our politics follow the same formula. With every election cycle becoming more exclusive and filled with propaganda, the choices become more and more limited. The quality of the product drops, as well.

There is no meat in our politics. It's all filler. Just like the breakfast cereals with the same nutritional content as the boxes in which they're packaged, our politicians are hollow fundamentally. The commercials point up nothing but the created issues that mean very little in the way of solutions to the problems they pretend to address. Where's the beef?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Rainy Day in Selma

These pictures of a wet and rainy October Selma sky were taken this morning by Amy Nichols. The top picture is the sky above police headquarters; below is a railroad crossing on Alabama Ave.

Update on 7 Killed in DOC Van Accident

More information was released yesterday by the Alabama Department of Safety about the wreck that took the lives of 1 Department of Corrections officer and 6 applicants. The men killed in the accident were Brandon Anglin, Julius Bouier, John Foye Sr., Lionel Moore, Derrick Ivey, Rodney Kelley, and Henry Simmons Sr. State Troopers stated that the truck that struck the DOC van transporting the men was going 10MPH over the speed limit and was attempting to pass in a no passing zone. The case will now be given to the District Attorney to be presented to a Grand Jury who will ultimately decide whether Andrew Carter, the driver of the truck, will be prosecuted.

IRS Owes YOU almost $5 Million reports that the IRS is looking for 6,800 Alabamans that have not yet received their stimulus and refund checks, due to mailing address errors.

Check for your name here:


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Woman Found Dead in Montgomery

The body of a deceased female was discovered on Early Street in Montgomery, yesterday afternoon. She has since been identified as 32 year old Stephanie Miller. Montgomery Police reported blunt force injuries to her head. No more details were released, pending investigation.

'The Snake' Not Guilty of DUI

Ken "The Snake" Stabler, former University of Alabama quarterback and color analyst for the Crimson Tide Football Network, has been cleared of DUI charges. The charges stemmed from a traffic stop in June when an officer detected alcohol on Mr. Stabler's breath. Stabler was aqcuitted when the judge for his case, acting Municipal Judge James Sweet, determined there wasn't enough evidence to convict.

Auburn Heads to West Virginia Tonight

Both Auburn and West Viriginia started the season with high hopes. Both were in the top 10; both were expecting to stay there. Now, with 5 combined losses at the halfway point of the season, the game has lost much of it's pre-season luster.

Still, it will most likely be a close match. Both teams are struggling to reinvent their offensive attack. Neither team is looking to take chances. A defensive battle is to be expected in a traditional, low-scoring, smash-mouth affair.

The game will be televised on ESPN. Kickoff @ 6:30pm Central.

US to Create Domestic Spy Agency

Congress made a request of the RAND Corporation, Monday, that would outline the creation of a domestic spying agency. The agency would institutionalize the monitoring of American citizens, which has been permitted by law since the passage of the USA Patriot Act. Executive orders dating back over half a century have authorized domestic spying, but this would be the first domestic agency who's primary mission would be that of monitoring American citizens.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

SSAB Plant Expansion Means New Jobs

The Swedish steel company Svenskt Stål Aktiebolag, or SSAB, has announced plans to expand it's Mobile, AL facility. The expansion will mean the creation of 180 new jobs in the State of Alabama. $400 million will be invested in the construction, due to begin next year.

Police Ram and Fire Weapons at Vehicle; Teen Killed

The Alabama Bureau of Investigation is investigating the death of a Childersburg teen shot in an incident over the weekend. Witnesses report that Tony Martin Jr. was fleeing when police rammed and opened fire on his vehicle, a 1998 Mercury Cougar. The Childersburg Police Department had no comment.

Iraqi Calls Alabama Home

An Iraqi man who served alongside American servicement has made the move to the US. Amid fears of reprisals from their fellow countrymen in Iraq, he and about 1,700 other translators chose to come to America. It's estimated that about 12,000 Iraqis have been relocated to the US in the last year.


More Voters than Citizens

The Associated Press reports that 6 Alabama counties have higher numbers on their voter rolls than voting age adults. DA Michael Jackson's request for a probe into voter fraud in June has yeilded no results from the FBI to date.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Friday Deadline for Voter Registration

If you intend to vote on November 4th, you need to be registered by October 24th. The deadline for new voter registration or for voters who want move their registration precinct is Friday. October 30th is the deadline for absentee ballots to be returned. Registration must be done at the registrars office in your county of residence. The Dallas County registrar's office can be reached at (334) 874-2534.

Voters may also register to vote via postcard, or online. Questions about registration can be answered by your local registrar, or the Secreatary of State's voter hotline, 1-800-274-8683.

Cody back for LSU Game

Terrence Cody, the 360+lb Alabama defensive lineman, will not be playing in the Crimson Tide's game this Saturday in Tennessee. His knee sprain will keep him out of action for 2 weeks, per Coach Nick Saban. Saban also indicated that Cody will be back in time for the LSU game on November 8th.

Not Again: Irregularities in Early FL Voting

Reports are already surfacing of voting problems in Florida. Equipment and personnel problems are listed as causes. Voters have been waiting five to ten minutes to enter the polling station.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Abortion Ban on Ballot in SD

South Dakota voters will vote on a measure in November that would place a limited ban on abortion in the state. Should the measure pass, it would most likely be challenged in the US Supreme Court. This would create the potential for an overturn of Roe v. Wade.


Somali Pirates Target EU Waste Dumpers

Pirates in the Red Sea have been attacking European vessels. They claim it's because vessels from Europe are bringing toxic to dump along the Somali coast.


Tuberville: "I plan to be here 10 more"

In a press conference earlier today, Head Coach Tommy Tuberville discounted stories circulating about the coach making an exit from the plains. After pointing out that he had been at the university 10 years, he stated that he had no intention to leave Auburn.

After disappointing losses to Vandy and Arkansas, Auburn is looking for a win this Thursday at West Virginia.

General Motors and Chrysler Merge

2 of the Big 3 US auto makers are in negotiations to merge within the week. Concerns about the merger have led some in the auto industry to say that this merger would create a corportaion "too big to fail". The Big 3 (GM, Ford and Chrysler) were recently granted $25 million by Congress for eco-friendly technology development.

GM has indicated that it will begin closing most Chrysler facilities when the deal goes through.

'Bama Sidesteps Rebel Invasion

The Ole' Miss Rebels gave the Crimson Tide a scare Saturday. After becoming the only team to score first on Bama this year, Ole Miss scored 21 unanswered points in the second half to whittle the Alabama lead to 4. With little over a minute remaing in the contest, the Rebels drove into Alabama territory.

Bama fans breathed a collective sigh of relief as the Tide defense denied the Rebels a 4th down conversion, ending the game with a turnover on downs.

Injured in the game was standout freshman lineman Terrance Cody. Cody, along with his normal defensive line duties, aided the offense in a first half touchdown, shoving the Ole' Miss defensive line into the endzone. Cody suffered an apparent knee injury early in the second half. Later reports indicated that Cody suffered a knee-sprain which will not require surgery.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

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