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.